Kaia Kater’s banjo-led music is informed by her background with Canadian folk music and the sounds of Appalachia. Her latest album, “Nine Pin,” digs deep into the experience of women and people of color in North America via music that blends traditional and modern sounds to tell a very contemporary story.
Songs that stand out: “Saint Elizabeth,” “Rising Down”
Recommended if you like: Ani DiFranco, Abigail Washburn
When playing: 6 p.m. Tuesday at Vintage Church (with Unseen Strangers), 8 p.m. Tuesday at Architect Bar & Social House, 10 p.m. Tuesday at Pour House (part of Shout & Shine: Diversity in Bluegrass with Giri & Uma Peters) and 4 p.m. Friday at the Capitol Stage at Wide Open Bluegrass.
Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen
Alaska-raised Frank Solivan is a musician, hunter, fisherman and one heck of a chef. Like his varied life story, his music pulls from a variety of genres for a flavor that is uniquely his. Bluegrass leads the way, but you’ll find rock, country, pop and more in this stew. Solivan’s songwriting is top-notch, but he knows how to pick a cover song, too, so look out for surprises at his shows. Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen are an Instrumental Group of the Year nominee at this year’s IBMA Awards, and the song “Cazenovia Casanova,” with Sam Bush and Jerry Douglas, is up for Instrumental Performance. The band’s cover of “Pretty Woman” with Del McCoury is nominated for Recorded Event of the Year.
Songs that stand out: He’s been known to open shows with a bluegrass-ified cover of “The Letter” that gets people dancing right off the bat. Also check out “Dark Holler,” a collaboration with Sam Bush.
Recommended if you like: Sam Bush, Ricky Skaggs
When playing: Midnight (technically Wednesday) at Vintage Church and 10 p.m. Wednesday in Raleigh Convention Center’s 4th Floor Ballroom (part of Radio Bristol Presents Farm and Fun Time with Balsam Range, Hackensaw Boys and Bill and the Belles).
The Honey Dewdrops
On guitar and banjo, married duo Kagey Parrish and Laura Wortman tell simple, stunning stories in beautiful harmony around a single microphone. At a performance this summer in Cary, they joked about the number of sad songs in their repertoire, but anguish as well written as they do it is a pleasure to listen to. (And they do have some more uplifting fare, too.)
Songs that stand out: “Silver Lining,” “Nobody in this World”
Recommended if you like: Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings
When playing: 8 p.m. Tuesday at Vintage Church, 8:10 p.m. Wednesday at Raleigh Convention Center Room 304 and 1:30 p.m. Saturday on the Davie Street Stage at Wide Open Bluegrass.
Stacy Chandler: firstname.lastname@example.org