The week ahead: Music

John Mayer.
Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images
John Mayer.

Mayer in ‘Paradise’

JOHN MAYER On his first tour in two years, after he had surgeries to correct damage to his vocal cords, Mayer is also on the road to celebrate a new album. A cursory listen to “Paradise Valley,” which will be released on Tuesday, suggests Mayer is continuing in the vein of mellow California folk-rock that suited him so well on 2011’s “Born and Raised.” (The new album is streaming for free on iTunes at the moment.) Phillip Phillips, who won last year’s “American Idol,” opens the show. Aug. 17, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $37.50-$79.50. Comcast Center, Mansfield. 800-745-3000,

Pop & Rock

ARIANA GRANDE This budding actress and singer is on her way up in the world of Top 40 radio pop. Her forthcoming debut, “Yours Truly,” put her squarely alongside contemporaries such as Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $29.50. Lowell Memorial Auditorium. 866-722-8881,

THE SPINTO BAND Nearly a decade into its career, this sprightly indie-pop band from Delaware finally caught a break with 2005’s “Nice and Nicely Done.”
Subsequent releases were just as infectious but didn’t quite catch fire. Spinto Band’s latest, “Cool Cocoon,” exudes a breezy confidence tinged with 1960s pop and noirish country. They share the bill with mewithoutYou. Aug. 20, 8:30 p.m. Tickets: $16. Great Scott. 800-745-3000,


PAT BENATAR Here’s a chance to see one of the icons of ’80s pop in a club setting, as opposed to her usual stretch of amphitheater shows. The acoustics will be all that much better for singalongs: “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “Love Is a Battlefield,” “Heartbreaker,” “We Belong.” Benatar performs with her longtime
guitarist (and husband) Neil Giraldo.
Aug. 21, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $36-$49.50. House of Blues. 800-745-3000,

James Reed

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Folk, World & Country

JOHN HIATT AND THE COMBO The man with the gruffest singing voice around is now into the fifth decade of his performing career and still making vital, bracing music, as his latest record, “Mystic Pinball,” attests. Make sure you get there early enough to see fine young singer-songwriter Robert Ellis open the show. Aug. 15, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $42.50-$65. Wilbur Theatre. 800-345-7000.

EASY ED’S ROOTS ROCK SPECTACULAR Lots of hillbilly, honky tonk, and
rockabilly on this bill from area bands the Barley Hoppers, Leah and Her
J-Walkers, and the Roy Sludge Trio,
but what will make the evening extra-special is a Spurs reunion (actually,
a half-reunion, with three of its six members) to pay tribute to the band’s fiddler Rich DuBois, who passed away in June. Aug. 17, 9 p.m. Tickets: $10. Midway Cafe, Jamaica Plain. 617-524-9038.

THE MAVERICKS The reunion of the Mavericks was one of this year’s best musical presents, and it seems the band has taken up right where it left off, making a wildly eclectic mashup of high-test honky tonk, Latin, soaring Orbisonesque pop, and rock and roll that it presents live in frenzied, full-throttle fashion. Aug. 18, 2 p.m. Tickets: $27- $44.50. Indian Ranch, Webster. 800-745-3000.


DIRTY BOURBON RIVER SHOW When a band describes what it plays as “New Orleans Gypsy Brass Circus Rock,” when it titles its fifth album “Volume Three,” and when the instrument credits listed for one of its members include “wind toys,” you’re probably in for something a little left of center. Aug. 21, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $16. Regattabar. 617-395-7757.

Stuart Munro


Jazz, Blues & Cabaret

CHARLIE KOHLHASE’S EXPLORERS CLUB The adventurous saxophonist/composer leads his intrepid band — saxophonist Matt Langley, bassist Sean Farias, and drummer Curt Newton — on an expedition in search of as-yet-unheard soundscapes. Aug. 15, 8 p.m. Tickets: $10. Outpost 186, 86½ Hampshire St., Cambridge.

PHIL SCARFF/LEWIS PORTER ENSEMBLE An exciting new quartet led by acclaimed pianist, composer, andauthor Porter and tenor, soprano, and sopranino saxophonist Scarff, leader of the celebrated world-jazz ensemble Natraj. Aug. 17, 7 p.m. Tickets: $12.50. Acton Jazz Café, 103 Nagog Park, Acton. 978-263-6161,

DEBBIE DAVIES BAND The two-time winner of the W.C. Handy Award for “Best Contemporary Female Blues Artist” first achieved wide notice during her stint as second guitarist in the legendary Albert Collins’s Icebreakers. Since then she’s played and recorded with the likes of Ike Turner, Mick Taylor, and Charlie Musselwhite. Aug. 17, 8 p.m. Tickets: $18-$22. Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Road, Shirley. 978-425-4311,


REGINA CARTER The second annual Rockport Music Jazz Festival presents the Detroit-born, Suzuki-trained jazz violinist whose versatility evokes everything from a Motown ballad to the brash swing fiddle of pioneer “Stuff” Smith. Among other achievements, she is a MacArthur Fellow and the first Jazz musician and African American to perform on Paganini’s own violin. Other Festival performances include the Four Freshmen (Aug. 15), Kurt Elling (Aug. 16), and Branford Marsalis & Joey Calderazzo Duo (Aug. 18). Aug. 17, 8 p.m. Tickets: $45-$65. Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main St., Rockport. 978-546-7391,

Kevin Lowenthal



TANGLEWOOD On Thursday Yo-Yo Ma and colleagues bring their Goat Rodeo Sessions to the Shed; Friday it’s Keith Lockhart and the Pops with Michael Feinstein; Saturday night Bernard Haitink conducts Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 with soloist Isabelle Faust; and Sunday Christoph von Dohnanyi returns to lead the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in Mahler’s First Symphony and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9 with soloist Emanuel Ax. Lenox. 617-266-1200,

STRAVINSKY AND HIS WORLD Every summer, Bard College hosts a music festival focused on a single composer. This year it’s Stravinsky, with the second weekend titled “Stravinsky Re-invented: From Paris to Los Angeles.” There will be films, panels, lectures, and chamber and orchestral performances. Aug. 16-18. Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. 845-758-7900,

MONADNOCK MUSIC Cellist Rhonda Rider joins the Monadnock Quartet for a program that features Schubert’s much-loved String Quintet alongside works by Horatio Parker and John Dowland. Aug. 17, 7:30 p.m. Peterborough Town House, N.H. 800-868-9613,

BOSTON CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY As part of its annual August summer chamber music series, BCMS musicians offer works by Parry, Dvorak, and Brahms. Aug. 17, 8 p.m. Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown. 617-349-0086,

Jeremy Eichler