Hailing from Northhampton, Mass., indie folk singer Chris Pureka can make you cry with her slightly warbly voice, think when you hear her damn good words, and unconsciously bop your head to her fierce rhythmic guitar lines. Fans of Gillian Welch, Neil Young, Appalachia and all things haunting will dig this show. Touring in support of her latest release, 'How I Learned To See In The Dark,' she shares the stage with meditative folkie Ramaya Soskin.
Chris Pureka, Ramaya Soskin, 9 p.m. Friday, May 14, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi St. $15. Info: 503-288-3895, www.mississippistudios .com.
Hicks 'n' licks
Once a Rolling Stone cover boy, guitarist/singerDan Hicks has worked with Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Bette Midler, Brian Setzer, and six zillion other musicians, yet he continues to fly just below the pop culture radar.
With his wonderful, carefree, swinging band The Hot Licks, he's the ultimate accessible eccentric, a brilliant lyricist whose jazzy, folkie, rollin' work has inspired every halfway decent jam band and festival-friendly group in the past 40 years.
This American treasure shares the stage with Portland's own Gypsy jazzers Swing Papillon.
Dan Hicks and The Hot Licks, Swing Papillon, 8 p.m. Sunday, May 16, Aladdin Theater, 3017 S.E. Milwaukie Ave. $22.50 in advance, $25 day of show. Minors must be accompanied by parent. Info: 503-234-9694, www.aladdin-theater.com
At the height of the '90s female pop-rock revolution, when McLachlan, Morissette, Merchant and company took over the airwaves, Eugene-raised Tracy Bonham became a pop phenomenon with her abrasive violin flavored hit 'Mother, Mother.' She's since gone on to have quite the career, serving as guest vocalist/violinist with everyone from Blue Man Group and Juliana Hatfield to Aerosmith, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Her soon-to-be released CD 'Masts of Manhattan' promises to serve up her always witty, intelligent lyrics and highly listenable arrangements. You can catch her with Portland's fine Dylanesque storytelling folkie Leonard Mynx.
Tracy Bonham, Leonard Mynx, 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 18, Lola's Room, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside Road, Portland. $12 advance, $14 day of show. Info: 503-225-0047, www .mcmenamins.com.
If there's a must-see ticket in town this month, it's this one: Toots and The Maytals, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars and Jujuba on one stage.
First, off, the Maytals rank as one of ska's and reggae's most important acts - in fact, you youngsters should know it was their 1968 song 'Do the Reggay' that popularized the word. Having delivered gospel-inflected, vocally sharp music for decades, the Maytals have even influenced modern acts like Sublime and Amy Winehouse, along with hundreds of others.
Meanwhile, The All Stars really were refugees, driven from their homeland by a brutal civil war, yet triumphing over tragedy by creating some of the most uplifting dance-happy Afropop this side of heaven.
Finally, Portland's own Jujuba features Nojeem Lisi, an alumnus of King Sunny Ade's groundbreaking Nigerian band. If you pass on this show to watch TV at home, there is simply no hope for you, and you will be banned from Funland forever.
Toots and The Maytals, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, Jujuba, 8 p.m. Thursday, May 20, Roseland Theater, 8 N.W. 6th Ave. $21 in advance, $24 at the door. All ages. Info: 503-224-2038, www.roselandpdx.com.
Spoonful of boogie
Coming to you from Portland, via Eugene, funky punky, garage/soul/rock trio The Quick and Easy Boys features Jimmy Russell on guitar, Sean Badders on bass and Michael Goetz on drums.
The fearsome threesome's single 'Take Your Medicine,' off the group's newest CD 'Red Light Rabbit,' sounds like Prince singing over a '70s disco hit played by a rock band, which means it works - since disco works best when Prince sings it, and disco works much better when a band plays it instead of some bloody machine.
Anyway, the danceable Boys will jam the boogie with classy roots rockers the Lewi Longmire Band and venerable lighthearted folkies Freak Mountain Ramblers.
The Quick and Easy Boys, Lewi Longmire Band, Freak Mountain Rambler, 9 p.m. Saturday, May 22, Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell Street. Info: 503 284-8686, www.wonderballroom.com.