Critics’ picks: music

Aaron Sheehan as Orphée in BEMF’s 2011 performance of Charpentier’s “La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers”
André Costantini
Aaron Sheehan as Orphée in BEMF’s 2011 performance of Charpentier’s “La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers”

Celebrating ‘Orfeo’

BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL Monteverdi’s “Orfeo,” the opera that started it all, comes to life in high-BEMF style this weekend as part of the festival’s popular annual chamber opera series. Orfeo will be sung by Aaron Sheehan (above, as Orphée in BEMF’s 2011 performance of Charpentier’s “La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers”). A talk with Harvard musicologist Thomas Forrest Kelly and the BEMF creative team begins one hour before each performance. 8 p.m., Nov. 24;
3 p.m., Nov. 25. Jordan Hall. 617-661-1812,

Jeremy Eichler


LAMB OF GOD If hanging with your family has given you a distinct desire to bang your head and shake off the dysfunction, then check out this Virginia-spawned metal outfit that knows a thing or two about the cathartic power of heavy metal, as demonstrated by its latest album, “Resolution.” Nov. 25, 7 p.m. Tickets: $37-$49.50. House of Blues.

NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE It’s been a productive year for Young, with the release of a memoir, “Waging Heavy Peace,” and two albums, “Americana” and “Psychedelic Pill.” Come prepared to hear a healthy dose from the latter as Young and compatriots stomp it out. Patti Smith, touting a new album of her own, “Banga,” opens. Nov. 26, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $70-$280. TD Garden. 800-745-3000,


THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM The New Jersey quartet released one of the best rock records of 2012 with the bracing, expansive collection of story songs and anthems that is “Handwritten.” The group’s shows are equally passionate affairs — all sweat, riffage, and goodwill, and not to be missed. Polar Bear Club and Matthew Ryan warm things up. Nov. 26,
8 p.m. Tickets: $26-$36. House of Blues. 800-745-3000,

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DELTA SPIRIT The newly reconstituted and relocated group hits the Hub in support of its well-received third album, which straddles the indie rock-alt-country line with energy and verve. Nov. 28, 8 p.m. Tickets: $22. House of Blues. 800-745-3000,



RAY LAMONTAGNE You might think him a sad sack, since even when he trades out mournful country for more sprightly numbers, the intense, unremitting pine of his singular singing voice is always there. There’s no opening act and no full band for this tour. Nov. 23, 24, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $33.50-$53.50. Orpheum Theatre. 800-745-3000,

ROY SLUDGE TRIO The final date of a November residency provides a perfect musical diversion for a Sunday afternoon, as Allan Sheinfeld’s longtime alter ego Sludge and his band play their version of classic country and trucker's favorites, some drawn from the recent opus, “Too Drunk to Truck.” Nov. 25, 4 p.m. Tickets: no cover. Radio, Somerville. 617-764-5239,

BERKLEE AMERICAN ROOTS PROGRAM PRESENTS Another of the Berklee program’s periodic showcases, this show will feature the acoustic blues of Dan Bowden and company, a musical mashup courtesy of the Beatles Bluegrass Band (perhaps channeling Boston bluegrass forebears the Charles River Valley Boys’ famous 1966 album, “Beatle Country”), and Texas country-folk from the Catie Offerman Band. Nov. 28, 8 p.m. Tickets: no cover. Cafe 939 at Berklee. 617-747-2262,


THE MOTHER HIPS They may qualify as venerable, and they certainly qualify as persistent, since they have maintained through the ups and downs for two decades and counting (an existence they explored on their last record, “Pacific Dust”). Their latest tour brings them around again Wednesday with their brand of alternative country and SoCal pop. Nov. 28, 9 p.m. Tickets: $12. Middle East Downstairs. 888-777-8932,



DONAL FOX INVENTIONS TRIO The dazzling pianist-composer, a Guggenheim Fellow and Steinway Artist, seamlessly melds jazz, Latin, and classical music. His marvelous trio includes bassist John Lockwood and drummer Yoron Israel. Nov. 23, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Tickets: $25-$28. Regattabar. 617-395-7757,

CATHERINE RUSSELL The sizzling vocalist spent years singing backup for the likes of Rosanne Cash, Paul Simon, and David Bowie before making her jazz move in 2006. Her roots in jazz could hardly be more credible. Her father, Luis Russell, led his own big bands for decades, as well as directing Louis Armstrong’s Orchestra. Her mother, Carline Ray, was a jazz bassist and singer.
Nov. 24, 8 p.m. Tickets: $18-$32. Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main Street, Rockport. 978-546-7391,

GRACIE CURRAN & THE HIGH FALUTIN’ BAND Catch the victors of the recent 2012 Boston Blues Society Blues Challenge (band division) before they head down to Memphis in February to represent the region in the 2013 International Blues Challenge. Nov. 24, 9 p.m. No cover. Brodie’s Seaport Cafe, 215 Derby St., Salem. 978-594-8490

ALBARE The guitarist and composer, a pioneer of acid jazz, was born in Morocco, raised in Israel and France, and is based in Australia. His current music reflects his heritage and wanderings and his “International Travel Diary” band, celebrating its new CD, features Hendrik Meurkens on harmonica, pianist Phil Turcio, bassist Phil Rex, and drummer Pablo Bencid. Nov. 27, 8 p.m. Tickets: $20.Scullers. 617-562-4111,




BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Christian Zacharias is both the conductor and piano soloist this week, with a program devoted to works by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. Nov. 23-27. Symphony Hall. 617-266-1200,

Benjamin Zander’s new BPYO makes its debut in Symphony Hall, with Beethoven’s “Egmont Overture” and Strauss’s “Ein Heldenleben.” Guest conductor Rafael Payare also leads Elgar’s Cello Concerto with soloist Alisa Weilerstein, whose formidable recording of that work, under the baton of Daniel Barenboim, has just been released. 3 p.m., Nov. 25. Symphony Hall. 617-236-0999,

CHAMBER MUSIC Peggy Pearson’s Winsor Music offers its annual Thanksgiving concert on Saturday night in Lexington’s Follen Community Church, with works by Bach, Joan Tower, and John Harbison. On Sunday afternoon, Cecile Licad plays Liszt and Chopin at the Gardner Museum, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet visits the Concord Chamber Music Society with music by Haydn, Beethoven, and Osvaldo Golijov.;;