Ian Hunter @ The Bell House
149 7th St. 8:30 p.m. $30 adv. $35 DOS. 718-643-6510
Still trucking along at the age of 75(!), the former Mott the Hoople frontman continues to cast a large shadow in influencing artists as diverse as Def Leppard, Butch Walker, The Soft Boys, Jim Allen, The Mekons and Cheap Trick while still releasing solid material. While 2012’s When I’m President was Hunter’s last studio outing, he’s still killing it with his live performances (although for some reason, any Mott the Hoople reunions have unfortunately been strictly reserved for his homeland). Joining him for this intimate, semi-acoustic show will be a band that includes former Bongos founder James Mastro. A keen observer of human foibles with a nose for commenting on political and social malfeasance, Hunter doesn’t disappoint in a live setting, so know that there’ll be plenty to sup on.
Al Kooper @ B.B. King Blues Club and Grill
237 West 42nd St. 8 p.m. $27.50 adv. $32 DOS. 212-997-4144
Call him the Zelig of rock & roll. Among Al Kooper’s most illustrious accomplishments are being a 14-year-old member of one-hit wonders The Royal Teens (“Short Shorts”), playing Hammond organ on Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” being a member of the Blues Project, founding Blood, Sweat & Tears, discovering Lynyrd Skynyrd in addition to producing and playing on the first three albums. This on top of being a hired gun to play on hundreds of records by an array of artists including The Who, Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Rolling Stones and Alice Cooper. He’s even managed to release 10 solo albums throughout the course of his illustrious career with the most recent being 2008’s White Chocolate. In recent years he’s taken to playing birthday concerts with this go-round finding the Queens native celebrating his seventy-first circuit around the sun. Part of the Blue Note Jazz Festival.
Rusted Root & The Wailers @ The Paramount
370 New York Ave. 7:30 p.m. $45, $20. 631-673-7300
An early H.O.R.D.E. Tour stalwart, this Pittsburgh multi-culti outfit is best known for its lone smash, “Send Me On My Way,” being extensively used in the animated film Ice Age. With its last studio effort being 2012’s The Movement, the Root makes most of its hay on the road nowadays. Not unlike the hundreds of doo-wop and early rock & roll acts criss-crossing the touring byways, this outfit is one step above a glorified cover band given the fact that these Wailers directest link to Bob Marley is bassist/bandleader Aston “Family Man” Barrett, who is the only current member to have played with Marley. With The Adam Ezra Group.
Gladys Knight & The Spinners @ NYCB Theatre @ Westbury
960 Brush Hollow Rd., 8 p.m. $69.50, $59.50, $49.50. 877-598-8497
One of soul’s greatest vocalists, Gladys Knight has been singing for her supper since winning Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour, (an early precursor to American Idol), back in 1951 at the tender age of seven. Since then, Knight has steadily racked up hits through the ’60s through the millennium. Her tireless work as a charitable fundraiser has even found her on Idol raising money alongside Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey, Jr. Coheadliners The Spinners’ history dates back to 1954 and while Henry Fambrough remains the sole founding member, the current group has plenty of hits to draw from including “I’ll Be Around,” “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love,” “One of a Kind (Love Affair),” “Games People Play” and “The Rubberband Man.”
Governors Ball Music Festival @ Randalls Island
Noon to 11 p.m. $300 for all three days; $135 per day.
Launched in 2011, the Governor’s Ball Music Festival has gone from a one-day gig to a weekend full of music. This time around, headliners will be Drake (Friday), DeadMau5 (Saturday) and The Black Keys (Sunday). Other artists that will be appearing include Florence & the Machine, Ryan Adams, My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists, St. Vincent, Bjork, Conor Oberst, Vance Joy, Benjamin Booker, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, Sharon Van Etten, Marina & the Diamonds, Lana Del Rey, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Tame Impala, Hot Chip, The War On Drugs, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Sturgill Simpson, Mayer Hawthorne and more. See the website for complete lineup and performance times.
Will Hoge @ Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey St., 9 p.m. $15. 866-858-0008
One of the great unsung talents, Will Hoge has been a gypsy on the Americana circuit bouncing between a few different labels (Atlantic, Rykodisc) while creating a sadly overlooked string of albums. One of those artists who seems to constantly be on the road, Hoge has made inroads along the way that’s included his getting 2012 Grammy, Country Music Association (CMA) and American Country Music (ACM) nominations for co-writing Eli Young’s “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.” Chevy even tapped Hoge’s 2014 single “Strong” from his 2013 album Never Give In for its 2014 Silverado pickup truck ad campaign. With Anthony D’Amato.
Michael McDonald @ Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center
76 Main St., 8 p.m. $210, $150, $125. 631- 288-1500
Between making himself heard in Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers in addition to as a fairly substantial MOR artist, blue-eyed soul crooner Michael McDonald made his most recent career move by joining the Motown Records family in 2003. After releasing a trio of covers-driven albums (with the last being 2008’s Soul Speak), the commandant of the Yacht Rock movement (which embraces other ‘70s soft rockers like Kenny Loggins, Christopher Cross and Toto) has been content to go on what’s essentially been an endless greatest hits tour.
Conor Oberst @ the Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 N. Sixth St. 11:30 p.m. $30. 212-486-5400
To the chagrin of Conor Oberst fans more enamored with the emo-leaning fare of his prior musical endeavor Bright Eyes, Oberst has spent most of the past decade going in more of an Americana influenced direction. His latest album, last year’s Upside Down Mountain, winds up being more of the same, with the Nebraska native being aided by Jonathan Wilson, part of the Laurel Canyon revivalist crew that counts Oberst, Jenny Lewis and Dawes among its charter members. Here, Oberst will be following up an earlier set at Governor’s Ball to play a smaller, more intimate set.
Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes @ B.B. King Blues Club and Grill
237 West 42nd St. 8 p.m. $36.50 adv. $40 DOS. 212-997-4144
As much a fixture of the Jersey bar-band scene as longtime buddy Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny is one of those artists who always seems to be locally playing one place or another throughout the calendar year. This of course makes Southside Johnny and his Asbury Jukes one of the music industry’s tightest live acts highlighted by the fact that this crew has a deep and extensive canon to pull from. With the Steve Conte Band. Part of the Blue Note Jazz Festival.
June 7 & 8
Calexico @ Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey St., 9 p.m. $25. 866-858-0008
Calexico plays the kind of spaghetti-western-flavored fare that’ll conjure up images of Sergio Leone and Stephen King’s Roland of Gilead. Following up on its last album, 2012’s Algiers, the Tucson-based, Texicali-flavored indie rockers are back with Edge of the Sun, a collection of songs that dabbles in cumbia, blues-rock, electronica and broad cinematic flourishes while featuring contributions by Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Sam Beam (Iron & Wine), Neko Case and Guatemalan-American singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno, who is also opening for Calexico.
Buddy Guy @ B.B. King Blues Club and Grill
237 West 42nd St. 8 p.m. $75. 212-997-4144
A firebrand player whose ‘90s comeback is the stuff of legend, Buddy Guy deserves all the acclaim and more given his influence on numerous string-benders whose ranks include Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Robert Cray. Guy’s latest, the 2013 double-CD Rhythm and Blues, teams the septuagenarian Louisiana native with a number of contemporary artists including Keith Urban, most of Aerosmith and Kid Rock. This in-studio experiment winds up working in spite of the dismal creative track record projects like these normally wind up with. And given that his old friend B.B. King passed on earlier this year, Guy represents a generation of blues artist that’s sadly whiling down in numbers. With Tom Hambridge. Part of the Blue Note Jazz Festival. (Through June 11.)
Dave Matthews Band @ Nikon @ Jones Beach Theater
1000 Ocean Pkwy, 7 p.m. $85, $75. 800-745-3000
Being the road dogs that they are, the Dave Matthews Band are back out on tour. With the last studio album being 2012’s Away From the World, the DMB will be playing two sets, the first acoustic, the second plugged-in, for a total of three hours of playing that will feature a solid sampling of the band’s back catalog with some newer fare sprinkled in.
June 9 & 10
Bad Religion @ the Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 N. Sixth St. 8 p.m. $30. 212-486-5400
The cornerstone of Southern California punk, Bad Religion has created quite a legacy built on a sound that combines three-part harmonies, killer guitar riffs and reams of socially conscious lyrics that’s resulted in 16 studio albums, with the most recent being 2013’s True North. Led by founding member Greg Graffin, who also possesses a doctorate and teaches courses in evolution at Cornell University, Bad Religion continues to cast a huge shadow of influence and have had their songs covered by a number of artists including Sublime, Streetlight Manifesto, Simple Plan and Frank Turner. With Plague Vendor. (Also appearing on June 11 & 12 at Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey St. NYC. 866-858-0008. www.boweryballroom.com.)
Belle & Sebastian @ Radio City Music Hall
1260 Sixth Ave., 8 p.m. $59.50. $50, $40. 866-858-0008
What originated as a final project (releasing and album) for founding member Stuart Murdoch’s music business turned into one of the more beloved bands to come out of Scotland. Often labeled as being somewhere between twee and baroque pop, Belle & Sebastian have spent time flitting between wistful folk-rock and old school ‘60s pop over the span of eight prior recordings. The band’s new album, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, infusing some neo-disco into the proceedings thanks to help from Animal Collective producer Ben H. Allen.
June 10 & 11
Femi Kuti & the Positive Force @ Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Ave. 8 p.m. $30. 718-963-3369
By dint of being the son of legendary Afro-funk legend Fela, Femi Kuti has enormous musical shoes to fill. And while crossover success has still eluded him despite touring with Jane’s Addiction, recording with Common and Mos Def and having his voice appear in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV, his sporadic recordings capture the vitality of his horn-driven live show. So it goes up through his most recent outing, 2013’s No Place For My Dream, a collection of songs fueled by a thirteen-piece band that is an amalgam of polyrhythmic Afro-beat and American funk peppered with nuances of Fela, vintage Santana and Isaac Hayes’ ethereal excursions. With Underground System & DJ Greg Caz.
Graham Parker & the Rumour @ The Paramount
370 New York Ave. 8 p.m. $60.25, $21.25. 631-673-7300
Forever in the shadow of fellow late ‘70s angry young man Elvis Costello, in recent years Graham Parker has embraced his inner maverick by signing with Chicago-based insurgent country imprint Bloodshot Records and releasing a quartet of solid outings including the most recent, 2010’s Imaginary Television. Parker took a bold step by reuniting with all five original members of The Rumour the following year and not only playing himself a version of himself in the 2012 Judd Apatow film This Is 40 with the Rumour along for the ride, but wound up releasing the most excellent Three Chords Good that same year. Three years on, Parker and The Rumour are back at it with the recently released Mystery Glue, a follow-up that continues to be a return to form for all parties involved. (Also appearing on June 13 at the Highline Ballroom, 431 W. 16th St. NYC. 212-414-5994. www.highlineballroom.com.)
Marcia Ball @ the YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts
37 W. Main St. 8 p.m. $55, $50. 631-969-1101
Ball is a piano-playing chanteuse whose roots lay in Texas and the Louisiana bayou. Over time, she’s taken her blend of blues, boogie woogie and zydeco and released a string of great albums with the most recent being last year’s The Tattooed Lady & The Alligator Man.