Top-flight acts in town this week

Aug 21, 2012

It’s another fine week for live music. In addition to Wednesday’s double-header of Anders Osborne at the 20th Century and Mary Chapin Carpenter with Tift Merritt at the Taft Theatre, here are four more shows worth consideration. 

Legends team up at Riverbend

Bob Dylan, who played the Fraze Pavilion in Dayton last year and the Bank of Kentucky Center in 2010, returns to Cincinnati for the first time since 2008 when he visits PNC Pavilion Sunday night.

Leon Russell opens the show, and let’s hope he’s joins Dylan later in the evening. For those of a certain age, memories of the pair playing with George Harrison at 1971’s Concert for Bangladesh is indelible.

Dylan is always interesting, if sometimes frustrating, but one wonders how much longer the never-ending tour will go now that he is 71. A quick glance at his website shows that he routinely plays eight months a year, and there’s a blurb online promoting the fall leg with Mark Knopfler.

Another fine pair

The top-notch double bill of Steve Earle and John Hiatt share the stage at the Taft Thursday night.

Earle, traveling with the Dukes and Duchesses featuring his wife, Allison Moorer, and the Masterstons, played a sweaty, sold-out show at the 20th Century last year.

Meanwhile, the prolific Hiatt will release “Mystic Pinball,” his 21st studio album Sept. 25.

Taste of Beale Street at Bogart’s 

Lucero wears its Memphis roots proudly, from the cover shot in front of the city’s famous Arcade restaurant on its latest album “Women & Work,” to guitarist Brian Venable’s confession, “Listening back to our early stuff, we hear ourselves reference the old Sun Records. We didn’t hear it or feel it then, but we hear it and feel it now.”

The band’s eight record reflects its growth from al-country punks to to full-fledged ensemble with keyboards (Rick Steff), pedal steel (Todd Beene) and horns (Jim Spake and Scott Thompson).

If you’re already a fan of Memphis or would like a peek into one of the country’s most diverse musical scenes, head to Bogart’s Saturday night. Ben Nichols and company will take you on a tour that includes stops at Ardent Studios (made famous by Big Star, among others), Stax Records (no explanation needed), the Rendezvous (producer Jim Dickinson’s favorite barbecue joint) and the Rev. Al Green’s Full Gospel Tabernacle Church.  

Dirty Guv’nahs at 20th Century

They might not be as familiar as their competition here this week, but the Dirty Guv’nahs, a six-piece band of rockers from Knoxville, Tenn., are generating some good word of mouth after performances this year at Bonnaroo and SXSW.

The group visits the 20th Century Tuesday night to play songs from the recently released “Somewhere Beneath These Souther Skies.”

Email Bill Thompson