Friday-Sunday 9:30 a.m. daily, 1328 S. Collegiate Drive, Wilkesboro. Single-day pass, $60-$70; 3-day pass, $155. www.merlefest.org.
The 28th annual roots-music festival continues with fierce pickers and stellar songwriters like Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Old Crow Medicine Show, Dave Rawlings Machine, Tim O’Brien, the Wood Brothers, Tommy Emmanuel, Peter Rowan, Alison Brown, Jim Lauderdale, the Kruger Brothers, Liz Vice and others.
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Friday 8 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. $37.50. www.livenation.com.
Nine years and five solo albums after the British R&B duo of songwriter Marsha Ambrosius and poet Natalie Stewart split, the group continues the reunion tour it launched in Atlanta almost a year ago. The pair has made room in the show for solo sets as well as hitting on some of the biggest hits they made together.
Friday 9 p.m., Double Door, 1218 Charlottetown Ave. $15. www.doubledoorinn.com.
The Nashville, Tenn., songstress always shot a little left of Music City. She’s sung with Jason Isbell, been produced by Rodney Crowell and Don Was, counts David Letterman as a fan and hosts a show on Sirius/XM’s Outlaw Country station. She’ll have a new album out this year.
Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires
Sunday 3:30 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St. $5-$7. www.snugrock.com.
Few bands rock harder and appear to exorcise more demons on stage than this Alabama trio. Its frontman is not only a punk-rock juggernaut but a literary writer whose latest album, “Dereconstructed,” examines Southern guilt, the region’s difficult history, and reconciling it with the love of the area and its people through bluesy, Southern rock bite.
Shooter Jennings and Waymore’s Outlaws
Tuesday 8 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. $25-$27. www.neighborhoodtheatre.com.
The second-generation outlaw operates so far outside of Nashville he’s outgrown the tag “country rebel.” His latest album, “Countach,” is a tribute to electronic music pioneer Giorgio Moroder with Marilyn Manson, Brandi Carlile and computer game developer Richard Garriott. He even previewed the album through an online role-playing game.
Wednesday 8:30 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. $25. www.visulite.com.
When not starring in “24” or movies like “Flatliners,” “The Lost Boys” and “A Few Good Men,” actor Kiefer Sutherland was a prize-winning cattle rancher and operated an indie record label. Those interests come together on “Down in a Hole,” his first album, which casts him as a country songwriter with a raspy voice tapping his life for lyrics.
Thursday 8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. $17. www.eveningmuse.com.
As a session musician in the ’90s and early ’00s, it was hard to find a Nashville record without her vocals or songwriting on it (from Reba McEntire to Ryan Adams). With a unique voice and writing chops, the Ohio native is at her best captaining her own heartfelt material, though she’s still a sought-after writer who contributes to ABC’s “Nashville.”
Thursday 9 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. $12-$15. www.visulite.com.
Canadian sibling duo Luke and Tessa Pretty have been drawing curious fans with instrumental electronic jazz that’s futuristic with retro flair, since garnering accolades from Britain’s The Guardian and touring with Juno winning producer/DJ Ryan Hemsworth. Yet the duo – he writes and produces, she handles percussion and drums – remain unsigned.