Six Sweet Folk, Country, and World Music Concerts to See in August

Jack and the Bear, Gipsy Kings, Albert Lee, and Lyle Lovett all play in Chicago soon.

Photo: Courtesy of Jack and the Bear

Jack and the Bear play at Reggies on Sunday, August 18.

RAVINIA
8/11 at 7 Gipsy Kings. They gained the world’s attention for the kind of musicianship that’s only possible by playing since childhood. After giving us a pop-oriented kind of flamenco in the ’80s, these French-born, Spanish-speaking legends now have a repertoire of music including salsa funk and rumba flamenco. $27–$75.
8/23 at 8 Lyle Lovett and His Large Band. Destined to shine forever in the country firmament, this charismatic Texan will be a highlight of Ravinia with his aptly named group. Despite the cowboy boots, don’t limit his legacy to country music; his compositions often add blues, jazz, swing, and folk to the mix. $27–$80. 200 Ravinia Park, Highland Park. ravinia.org.

REGGIES
8/5 at 8:30 Elsa Cross. This young Americana princess has been turning heads since her debut album release in 2008. Raised on Methodist gospel and sharpened by the country and rockabilly of her current stomping grounds in Austin, she has both critics and fans praising her particularly poignant insights. Expect a full range of emotion and a satisfying twang in the guitar amps. $5.
8/18 at 8:30 Jack and the Bear. Two sets of brothers are at the core of this seven-piece folk-rock group out of Michigan. The band only formed in the last few years, but it’s already among the next wave of successful folk-rockers, collaborating with one of Tom Waits’s producers and expanding its sound to earn comparisons to Springsteen, Fleet Foxes, and Beirut. Four-part harmonies and talented multi-instrumentalists ensure a worthwhile show. $5. 2109 S State. reggieslive.com.

SPACE
8/9 at 8 Tom Rush. Recently celebrating 50 years in music, this New Englander is credited with helping pioneer the era of the singer-songwriter. His musical range is simple and largely unhybridized, but what he does with that range is worth seeing. $22–$42.
8/10 at 8 Albert Lee. The electric guitar player has never gained major commercial success, but his live shows are the high-water mark of talent. His English heritage and hybrid picking techniques set him apart from most, but his love of country music has allowed him to embrace the American tradition of rip-roaring Telecasters. $18–$34. 1245 Chicago, Evanston. evanstonspace.com.

 

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