On the Beat

Rock Picks: Maxwell brings hot R&B to Raleigh’s Red Hat


Staying power is rarer and more precious than ever in popular music these days, which makes the two-decades-plus run of Gerald “Maxwell” Rivera something of a miracle. He made a brilliant debut in 1996 with “Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite,” and 21 years later remains among the most vital and consistently interesting artists in the R&B universe.

Maxwell’s most recent album, last year’s “BlackSUMMERS’night” (Columbia Records), was another impressive tour de force – and he’ll be playing its songs live Friday night at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater.

Showtime is 7:30 p.m., Ledisi and Leela James are also on the bill and tickets are $35-$75. See redhatamphitheater.com for details.

Other highlights

  • Also Friday, Phil Alvin’s long-lived Blasters play Raleigh’s Pour House, while Yarn is at Motorco in Durham.
  • Sunday brings the one-day festival EddieFest to Kings in Raleigh with Pipe, Three Torches and other friends, family and peers playing in memory of the late Polvo drummer Eddie Watkins (who died last year).
  • Wednesday brings the experimental Music Tapes’ “Orbiting Human Circus” to Motorco, and bluesman Selwyn Birchwood to Durham’s Blue Note.
  • And Doug Edmunds and friends pay tribute to the late Jeff Buckley on Thursday, playing his 1994 signpost album “Grace” from start to finish at the Cat’s Cradle Back Room in Carrboro.