On the Beat

Rock Picks: Gangstagrass mixes bluegrass breakdowns with hip hop beats in Durham

The New York-based bluegrass/hip-hop group Gangstagrass will perform Sunday at Motorco Music Hall in Durham.
The New York-based bluegrass/hip-hop group Gangstagrass will perform Sunday at Motorco Music Hall in Durham.

Our time is a deconstructive age of oddball combinations, and combinations don’t get much more startlingly oddball than Gangstagrass – a New York ensemble that sets hip-hop versifying to old-school bluegrass. Their mix of bluegrass breakdowns and hip-hop beats has been blowing minds for more than a decade now, through a series of albums as well as performances at festivals including World of Bluegrass in Raleigh. But Sunday night will find Gangstagrass holding forth within the friendly confines of Durham’s Motorco Music Hall.

Doors open at 7 p.m., Kamara Thomas starts at 8 and tickets are $12-$15. See motorcomusic.com for details.

Other highlights

  • Friday brings local bar-band stars Bleeding Hearts’ first local show in way too long to Raleigh’s Pour House.
  • NC Museum of Art has two of this summer’s top shows set for what is usually the early-week dead zone: Belle & Sebastian with Andrew Bird on Monday followed by Punch Brothers and I’m With Her on Tuesday (both are already sold out).
  • Also Tuesday, Michael Franti’s stylistic polyglot Spearhead plays the Raleigh Ritz.
  • Wide-ranging pop singer Michelle Branch is at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre on Wednesday.
  • And Thursday brings Gov’t Mule and Galactic to Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater.
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