On the Beat

Rock Picks: Leon Bridges brings old-school soul to DPAC

Leon Bridges’ 2015 debut album “Coming Home” is as fine a pure old-school soul record as anyone has released over the past decade. He’ll play at the Durham Performing Arts Center Sunday night, on a bill with Lianne La Havas.
Leon Bridges’ 2015 debut album “Coming Home” is as fine a pure old-school soul record as anyone has released over the past decade. He’ll play at the Durham Performing Arts Center Sunday night, on a bill with Lianne La Havas. Invision/AP

Leon Bridges sets a very high bar for himself by invoking elder soul forefathers from the pantheon – Al Green, Otis Redding and especially Sam Cooke – and it’s to his very great credit that he does those influences proud while coming across as a lot more than just a slavish imitator. Bridges’ 2015 debut album “Coming Home” (Columbia Records) is as fine a pure old-school soul record as anyone has released over the past decade, with the gritty sweetness of his voice leaving an impression of Bridges as someone we’ll be hearing a lot from in the coming years. He’ll play Durham Performing Arts Center Sunday night, on a bill with Lianne La Havas.

Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $35-$45. See dpacnc.com for details.

Other highlights

  • Friday brings noted humorist Weird Al Yankovic to DPAC, plus the start of the two-night Bull Durham Blues Festival to Durham’s Hayti Heritage Center with Bobby Hinton, Beverly Guitar Watkins and others.
  • Hopscotch continues this weekend with Erykah Badu, Gary Clark Jr., Anderson .Paak, Beach House, Sylvan Esso and lots more through Saturday.
  • Chatham County Line and Red Clay Ramblers play WUNC-FM’s 40th-anniversary show bash Saturday at Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre.
  • Expatriate pop pianist Ben Folds will be back to open his fall tour at Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium Tuesday, the same night the always-epic Titus Andronicus plays Durham’s Pinhook.
  • The classic-rock trio of Heart, Joan Jett and Cheap Trick plays Wednesday at Raleigh’s Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek. Speaking of classic rock, Wednesday also brings ZZ Top to Booth, plus soulful bluesman Seth Walker to the Back Room of Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle.
  • And Booth has The Lumineers on Thursday.
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