Phil Cook is on such a roll these days that even his one-off quickie projects turn out to be something special. Cook’s latest is “Old Hwy D,” a wonderful little mini-album of six acoustic-guitar instrumentals spry enough to restore your faith in humanity. Inspired by some friends who had just had their first child, Cook sat down with his guitar, hit “record” and laid down these songs in a single day while under the spell of a particularly strong bout of joy. If you could translate a smile into meditative and steady rolling guitar tunes, it would sound something like this. About the only place you can buy an actual copy of “Old Hwy D” is at Cook’s live shows, including Friday at the Carrboro ArtsCenter with Charlie Parr.
Showtime is 8 p.m. and tickets are $17. See artscenterlive.org for details.
- Friday also brings a night of Motown soul to Durham Performing Arts Center with the Temptations and Four Tops, as well as Driftwood to Durham’s Motorco Music Hall and Gemma Ray to Duke Coffeehouse.
- Pop-punk band Good Charlotte is at the Raleigh Ritz Saturday.
- A couple of excellent singer/songwriters play around these parts Sunday: Patty Griffin at Raleigh’s Fletcher Hall and Karla Bonoff at Motorco.
- Guitar god Steve Vai solos away at Durham’s Carolina Theatre on Monday. And Peter Hook plays classics from his old bands Joy Division and New Order Tuesday at Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle.