The week ahead: Music

Glenn Pinkerton/Las Vegas News Bureau

Strait’s last ride

GEORGE STRAIT Strait had his first No. 1 hit in 1982. Thirty years and three score number-ones later, the mainstream country superstar is on the road with his farewell “Cowboy Rides Away” tour. Who knows if he’ll really quit touring, or if his farewell tour will head closer to Boston at a later date? This show may be the closest chance to see him before you can’t see him anymore. Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $69.50-$89.50. XL Center, Hartford. 800-745-3000,



BEACH FOSSILS Economy and the power of repetition were the linchpins of Beach Fossils’ acclaimed debut. But on its follow-up, the brand-new “Clash the Truth,” frontman Dustin Payseur bends the indie-rock band’s parameters to skew more post-punk and even spectral at times. Orca Orca opens opens. Feb. 24, 10 p.m. Tickets: $12. T.T. the Bear’s. 617-492-2327,

IMAGINE DRAGONS Here’s the recipe: a little Killers, a bit Mumford & Sons, and a pinch of the Postal Service. Mix and you’ve got Imagine Dragons, whose widescreen arena pop is right at home with current trends in Top 40 radio. Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $25-$35. House of Blues. 800-745-3000,


CAVEMAN This Brooklyn band was so assured on 2011’s “CoCo Beware” that even the jangly guitars sounded like they were being played in slow motion; the journey was more important than the final destination. Now Caveman is back on the road ahead of its self-titled sophomore album, due in early April. Feb. 27, 8 p.m. Tickets: $15, $13 in advance. The Sinclair. 800-745-3000,

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EELS Never one to stay away too long, Eels frontman Mark “E” Everett just released the band’s 10th studio album, the aptly titled “Wonderful, Glorious.” It’s as ramshackle and brooding as fans have come to expect from the band. Be sure to catch powerhouse rocker Nicole Atkins in the opening slot. Feb. 27, 8 p.m. Tickets: $25. Paradise Rock Club. 800-745-3000,



BILL EVANS SOULGRASS Saxophonist Evans’s incorporation of jazz, funk, and bluegrass into what he calls “soulgrass” started with his 2006 album of the same name, which featured such prominent ’grassers as Stuart Duncan and Jerry Douglas. He’s continued down that path on two more albums, and he’ll play it live on Saturday with the help of banjoist Ryan Cavanaugh and others. Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $30. Regattabar. 617-395-7757,

WOMEN OF THE WORLD For its spring (there’s optimism for you) concert, this Boston-based multilingual world music ensemble, which encompasses singers and musicians from the world over (currently, Japan, Italy, Mexico, Haiti, India and the US) will be presenting the premiere of its new multi-art production, “Koloro,” a celebration of color in nature, culture, and life. Feb. 25, 8:15 p.m. Tickets: $12. Berklee Performance Center. 617-747-2261.

CHARLIE PARR As his press bio aptly puts it, Minnesotan Parr not only plays roots music but lives his roots, drawing inspiration from the native state where he still resides and from the blues, folk, and old-time records that he found in his father's record collection, and maintaining a career, now 11 albums strong, that seems by intention to fly under the radar. Feb. 27, 8 p.m. Tickets: $10. Johnny D’s, Somerville. 888-777-8932.




MATT SCHOFIELD According to Guitar & Bass Magazine, the guitarist, singer, and songwriter is one of the top 10 British blues guitarists of all time. The British Blues Awards named him guitarist of the year for three years running, from 2010-2012. And his “Anything But Time” was Mojo Magazine’s 2011 blues album of the year. Feb. 22, 8 p.m. Tickets: $22-$26. The Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 508-647-0097,

MIGUEL ZENÓN The fiery saxophonist and composer — Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow, Grammy nominee, and NEC Professor — helms the third-ever performance of “Identities Are Changeable: Tales From the Diaspora,” his massive, multimedia exploration of Puerto Rican-American cultural identity. Featuring Zenón’s Quartet, the NEC Jazz Orchestra conducted by Ken Schaphorst, and video by David Dempewolf. Feb. 22, 8 p.m. Tickets: $15. NEC’s Jordan Hall. 617-585-1260,

THE CHARLES LICATA ENSEMBLE Engaging saxophonist Charles “Chazz” Licata’s group features his versatile violinist daughter Marissa, master drummer Bob Moses, and two double bassists playing his accessibly adventurous music.
Feb. 24, 2 p.m. Tickets: $15-$18. Amazing Things Arts Center, 160 Hollis St., Framingham. 508-405-2787,

RAN BLAKE & DOMINIQUE EADE Among the recurrent themes of pianist Blake’s long career is the hushed, stark, noir-inflected duet with female vocalist. Among his finest duo-mates is former student and current fellow NEC faculty member Eade, she of the cool voice and canny phrasing. Their duo CD, “Whirlpool,” was chosen as one of its year’s best by DownBeat magazine. Feb. 27, 8 p.m. Tickets: $20. Scullers. 617-562-4111,



BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos returns to the BSO podium with Stravinsky’s “Pulcinella” and Haydn’s “Mass in Time of War.” Feb. 21-26. Symphony Hall. 617-266-1200,


BOSTON PHILHARMONIC: MAHLER Mahler’s Sixth Symphony led by Benjamin Zander, one of the composer’s most devoted champions. Feb. 21, 24, Sanders Theatre; Feb. 23, Jordan Hall. 617-236-0999,

HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY Harry Christophers conducts an all-Haydn program, featuring the Symphonies nos. 6 and 82 as well as the Violin Concerto in G with H&H concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky as soloist. Feb. 22, 24. Symphony Hall. 617-266-3605 or

KALICHSTEIN-LAREDO-ROBINSON TRIO The veteran piano trio returns to Boston with works by Tchaikovsky and Mozart alongside the local premiere of André Previn’s Trio No. 2. Feb. 24, 3 p.m. Jordan Hall. 617-482-6661,