The big-sized theater and arena shows tend to get most of the attention, and we’ve got some this week including Cyndi Lauper at Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium on Saturday night. But more colorful tales tend to emerge from smaller rooms where the spirits flow, which is the subject of UNC-Greensboro professor Emily Edwards’ “Bars, Blues, and Booze: Stories from the Drink House” (University Press of Mississippi) – an oral history of Southern race relations in the context of bar-band nightlife. The book collects anecdotes from across the South, including local blues musicians Mel Melton, John Dee Holeman and Tim Duffy. Friday night, the scene moves to Durham’s Regulator Bookshop, where some of those stories will be told and Melton will team up with Max Drake for an acoustic jam.
It starts at 7 p.m. and there’s no cover. See regulatorbookshop.com for details.
- Saturday brings gospel icon Kirk Franklin to Durham Performing Arts Center and the New York pop-soul duo Lawrence to Durham’s Motorco Music Hall.
- Walnut Creek has a classic-rock triple-bill of Journey, Doobie Brothers and Traffic co-founder Dave Mason on Sunday.
- Wednesday brings Crescent City funk heavyweights Dirty Dozen Brass Band to Motorco, gonzo garage rock with King Khan & the Shrines to Raleigh’s Kings, Carolina Chocolate Drops alumna Leyla McCalla to Duke’s Music in the Gardens and rock scion James (son of Paul) McCartney to Chapel Hill’s Local 506.
- And downtown Raleigh is full of free options Thursday night: Nathaniel Ratliff and the Night Sweats at Red Hat Amphitheater, and Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba headlining Oak City 7 at City Plaza.