Marti Jones & Don Dixon
Friday 8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. $12-$15. www.eveningmuse.com.
Dixon, the Lancaster, S.C., native who was a big part of the region’s early alt-rock scene, and his Ohio-based fellow songwriter wife return for what feels like the closest thing to a Charlotte music reunion. Dixon worked on those early R.E.M. records at the now bulldozed Reflection Sound Studios and maintains N.C. roots. Come for the harmonies and alt-pop songwriting, but enjoy the familial warmth.
Friday 9 p.m., Double Door, 1218 Charlottetown Ave. $10. www.doubledoorinn.com.
This L.A. trio puts a new spin on R&B-tinged smooth jazz with singer/tenor sax player Amber Navran’s lyrical vocal melodies coasting along with keys, horns and woodwinds. The friendly, appealing vocals (you can almost hear her smiling), electronic elements and beats, and diverse influences J. Dilla, Kamasi Washington and D’Angelo make for a fresh new sound that’s still rooted in tradition.
N.C. Brewers and Music Festival
Friday-Saturday 6 p.m. and 11:45 a.m., respectively, Rural Hill, 4431 Neck Road, Huntersville. $16-$42, $8 for ages 5-12, free for 4 and younger. Tent camping available: $18 Saturday; $38 both nights. www.ncbrewsmusic.com.
The Travelin’ McCourys, Della Mae, Hip Abduction, the Honeycutters and Sol Driven Train head up the main stage at this annual craft-beer tasting and live music fest. This year, a second stage will feature songwriters Sara Rachele, Tony Eltora and Jared Allen. Friday’s campground jam featuring Mipso, Taylor Winchester and Forlorn Strangers is only open to campers.
Saturday 8 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. $19. www.livenation.com.
With his new album “El Rio” due June 10, the rising country act has already previewed tracks like the ballad “It All Started With a Beer” and his latest, “Cigarette.” The latter is a Chris Stapleton/Kip Moore co-write that features Ballard at his most crossover-friendly. It’s as rocking as Bryan Adams’ ’80s output and acts like a “Cuts Like a Knife”-style earworm.
Latin Night with Ultima Nota and Patabamba
Saturday 10 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St. $8-$10. www.snugrock.com.
The Plaza Midwood neighborhood bar, which has hosted hip-hop Mondays, country Tuesdays and Thursday dance parties, tries something new. Charlotte’s once percolating Latin rock scene has subsided, but some of those musicians are making music with new bands that keep one foot in tradition and the other in catchy Spanish language pop and rock.
Sunday 7:30 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. $27. www.livenation.com.
Few bands elicit the sort of devotion heaped on this modern rock act, which attracts fans with frontman Justin Furstenfeld’s willingness to share his personal struggles and triumphs while encouraging listeners in their own. On “Home,” the band’s eighth album, he’s chasing contentment, stability and worth. You get the sense he’s not necessarily settling down, but settling in.
Sunday 9 p.m., The Milestone, 3400 Tuckaseegee Road. $5. www.themilestoneclub.com.
Indicative of the kind of diversity you’ll find at the Milestone, this bill features a New York trio of jazz singers (North Carolina’s Becca Stevens, with Rebecca Martin and Gretchen Parlato) whose tunes transcend the genres they touch on. It’s paired with Gastonia punk band Van Huskins, local rockers Tiny City and Atlanta’s Humdinger, which creates quirky, humorous acoustic-based songs akin to the Front Bottoms or Violent Femmes.
Wednesday 9 p.m., The Milestone, 3400 Tuckaseegee Road. $5-$7. www.themilestoneclub.com.
Vocalist/keyboardist Alicia Grodecki leaves behind the pop-rock of her former Ohio girl group (and Milestone staple) Vanity Theft for dreamier and darker synth-driven waters. The catchy melodies are still there; they’re just slowed down extensively and draped in gauzy atmosphere with Grodecki’s restrained but soulful voice at the center.