On the Beat

Rock Picks, March 20: Catch folk trio Bombadil at Cat’s Cradle

From left, Daniel Michalak, Stuart Robinson and James Philips of Bombadil.
From left, Daniel Michalak, Stuart Robinson and James Philips of Bombadil. TODD COOPER

Local folk trio Bombadil has always had a profound streak of preciousness. Not to say their previous records weren’t enjoyable – they were – but sometimes they seemed a little cutesier than absolutely necessary. But Bombadil’s fifth and newest album “Hold On” (Ramseur Records) feels like a breakthrough, sporting the most memorable set of tunes they’ve ever come up with and even some clattery rhythmic pulses. It’s the tunes, not the twee, that linger afterward. Catch it live at 8 p.m. Saturday at Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle. Sinners & Saints open and tickets are $12-$15. See catscradle.com for details.

Other highlights

▪ Friday: It must be spring because WKNC’s “Fridays on the Lawn” free-show series is back, kicking off a new season at N.C. State’s Harris Field with Asheville low-fi psychedelic rocker Jackson Scott. Also, Jenny Scheinman and Robbie Fulks are part of the “Kannapolis” documentary project, providing soundtrack music to accompany visuals assembled from old films of live in the Piedmont 70 years ago, at Duke University’s Reynolds Industry Theater. And Celtic Tenors sing at Cary Arts Center while Carbon Leaf plays the Cradle.

▪ Saturday brings reigning IBMA entertainer-of-the-year bluegrass band Balsam Range to Garner Performing Arts Center, Tonk and Jeffrey Dean Foster to Raleigh’s Pour House and 6 String Drag to the Cradle Back Room.

▪ The second annual Kelly Holland Memorial Benefit, in honor of the late great Cry of Love frontman, is Sunday at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre with Automatic Slim, Backsliders, Hank Sinatra and others.

▪ Composer/singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane plays the Cradle Monday with the North Carolina Symphony Quartet. The ’90s are in full effect early in the week – Lou Barlow’s Sebadoh at Kings in Raleigh Monday, Swervedriver at Durham’s Motorco Music Hall Tuesday and Juliana Hatfield Three at the Cradle Back Room Tuesday.

▪ Lloyd Cole plays Carrboro ArtsCenter Wednesday, the same night Duke Coffeehouse brings in Deerhoof. And Stained Radiance, the duo of painter Norton Wisdom and Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, plays the ArtsCenter Thursday with space-folkie Sam Amidon.