Hella shows this weekend


Black Uhuru

PowerHouse Pub, 10 p.m., $20

Black Uhuru’s made reggae over four decades, including a particularly propitious period during the ’80s and early ’90s. It won the first ever Grammy for Reggae with 1984’s Anthem. It’s endured a number of lineup changes—including several lead singers—and its last release was 2001’s Dynasty. The sole consistent member has been Derrick “Duckie” Simpson, though the last album’s singer—Andrew Bees—has returned, accompanied by female vocalist Kaye Stahr Whatever the membership, Black Uhuru purveys danceable reggae rhythms, sticky melodies, cooing co-ed backing, positive vibrations and panglobal chic—epitomized by the infectious ode to New York, “Chill Out.” 614 Sutter Street in Folsom, www.therealblackuhuru.com.

—Chris Parker


Kaki King

The Center for the Arts, 8 p.m., $10-$20

Nobody’s scrawling “Kaki King is God” on subway walls, but the Atlanta native’s possibly the finest guitarist of her generation. Initially an instrumental acoustic guitarist, King employs percussive tapping and harmonizing techniques reminiscent of Michael Hedges, resulting in surprisingly rich, complex compositions sometimes augmented by looping effects. With her 2006 third album, ...Until We Felt Red, King embraced electric guitar, a greater variety of instrumentation and vocals. She then went from singer-songwriter to a band approach for 2010’s fifth album, Junior, and returned to instrumentals for last year’s Glow. Regardless of style, King keenly conjures mood with mesmerizing sonics and insistent rhythms balancing both delicacy and power. 314 W. Main Street in Grass Valley, www.kakiking.com.

—Chris Parker


The Mowgli’s

Ace of Spades, 7 p.m., $13

Listen to a few tracks from the Mowgli’s and you’ll get that it believes: the answer for everything is love; that everyone, deep down, is good; and that freedom is yours if you want it. The eight-piece band offers a similar brand of choral rock as the Lumineers, the Head and the Heart, and Of Monsters and Men—and at times it hearkens back to the cheery pop punk of the Ataris or Taking Back Sunday (though lyrically, it offers less ennui). This is music for the sunny, flower-crown-wearing set, and just a heads up: The band is really into having the audience sing along. 1417 R Street, www.themowglis.net.

—Deena Drewis


Sacramento State Jazz Singers

Sacramento State Capistrano Hall, 7 p.m., $5-$10

Two of my favorite blackbird-themed songs will be mashed up and performed in concert this Friday: the Beatles’ “Blackbird” (in which, I think, the blackbird is a metaphor for death and rebirth) and “Bye, Bye, Blackbird” (a jazz standard by Ray Henderson and Mort Dixon, which seems to be about eternal sadness). Sacramento State’s Jazz Singers (pictured) will team up with Christian Brothers Vocal Jazz Choir at this performance. In addition to the unique avian mashup (originally performed by Sara Gazarek and transcribed by Sacramento State student Tim Weiss), hear other jazz standards such as “Le Nommage” and “Round Midnight.” 6000 J Street, www.csus.edu/music/jazz/vocal.html.

—Jonathan Mendick


Sourdough Slim & Robert Armstrong

The Palms Playhouse, 8 p.m., $20

Sourdough Slim is a vaudeville cowboy who’s been compared to W.C. Fields and Will Rogers. Robert Armstrong wrote and illustrated the comic Mickey Rat, among other projects. When this pair brings a saddlebag of jokes, cowboy songs, country blues and yodels, you’ll know why they’ve performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Strawberry Music Festival and on A Prarie Home Companion. From string band rural Americana songs of the 1920s and ’30s to the pirate sound of “Barnacle Bill,” Slim and Armstrong play harmonica, ukulele, National steel guitar, musical saw and accordion, and will have you wanting to yodel right along with them. 13 Main Street in Winters, www.sourdoughslim.com.

—Trina L. Drotar


Blue Oaks

Starlite Lounge, 7 p.m., $7

Brendan Stone and Cory Walker of blues-rock duo Blue Oaks celebrate the release of their debut 7-inch single, “Hit by a Train From New York City Blues,” with a jampacked evening of music and giveaways that includes seven bands, for seven bucks, at 7 p.m. Apparently, the two are fond of sevens. Blue Oaks will perform with Mason Rex, the Kelps and Drive-Thru Mystics. Throughout the evening, hear rock ’n’ roll vinyl of the ’50s and ’60s in between sets provided by DJ Roger Carpio, and the first 50 in attendance receive a free download card for the single’s B-side, “Skeleton Key.” 1517 21st Street, www.facebook.com/blueoaksmusic.

—Steph Rodriguez


Talib Kweli

Ace of Spades, 6:30 p.m., $18

In an era when so many hip-hop acts have basically exhausted ways to describe the female posterior, Talib Kweli is somewhat of an outlier. He writes with integrity and passion about the personal and social struggles we all face in today’s increasingly complex world. His 2013 album, Prisoner of Conscious, veers between a philosophical platform for self-empowerment and a travelogue for the rapper, who regularly crisscrosses the globe playing solo shows, and sporadically teams with Yasiin Bey (a.k.a. Mos Def) to form the supergroup Black Star. Kweli engages the listener with high-order vocabulary enveloped in beats and a delivery that gets people moving to songs challenging injustices and the status quo. 1417 R Street, www.talibkweli.com.

—Paul Piazza

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