On the Beat

Rock Picks: A tribute to blues patriarch ‘Captain Luke’ Mayer

Cool John Ferguson plays Friday at the Carrboro ArtsCenter during a tribute to blues patriarch “Captain Luke” Mayer.
Cool John Ferguson plays Friday at the Carrboro ArtsCenter during a tribute to blues patriarch “Captain Luke” Mayer.

One of the great voices of North Carolina music quietly passed on earlier this year with the death of Luther “Captain Luke” Mayer, at age 87 back in May. Captain Luke was a terrific character and classy patriarch of the Winston-Salem blues community, commanding respect because he was also an incredible crooner along the lines of Brook Benton (whose “Rainy Night in Georgia” was one of his standards). Friday night, there will be a Captain Luke tribute show at the Carrboro ArtsCenter sponsored by Music Maker Relief Foundation and featuring Benton’s regular guitarist Cool John Ferguson, “And Friends.”

Showtime is 8 p.m. and tickets are $10-$15. Check artscenterlive.org for details.

Other highlights

  • Friday also brings the great John Prine to Durham Performing Arts Center, rising rapper Ty Dolla $ign to Raleigh’s Ritz, sassy new singer Aubrie Sellers opening for John Moreland at the Back Room of Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle and Birds and Arrows to Kings in Raleigh, in their final Triangle performance before departing for their new home in Arizona.
  • Then on Saturday, uber-diva Patti LaBelle sings at DPAC, Foreign Exchange shows off its fine new album “Tales from the Land of Milk and Honey” at the Cradle, folksinger John McCutcheon plays the ArtsCenter and Chris Robinson Brotherhood opens a two-night run at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre.
  • Ukulele god Jake Shimabukuro plays Durham’s Carolina Theatre Wednesday, the same night Joe Ely is at Raleigh’s Southland Ballroom and Neon Indian plays Saxapahaw’s Haw River Ballroom.
  • Next weekend starts early with Thursday night’s lineup of Don McLean and Judy Collins at the Carolina, the von Trapp grandkids at Durham’s Motorco Music Hall, “American Idol” veteran David Cook at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre, jam-band Sound Tribe Sector 9 at the Ritz and a Neil Young 70th-birthday tribute show at Kings with Vibe Killers and Clear Spots among the players.
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