1) Vanderbilt University is one of the nation’s finest, and while many college-bound youths enroll there to become scientists or scholars, young Dierks Bentley chose Vanderbilt for a different reason: it’s in Nashville. The hard-working undergrad from Phoenix, Arizona, earned his B.A. in 1997, officially studying English and the liberal arts while unofficially pursuing the highly competitive art of country music. By 2001, Bentley had progressed from fighting for open-mic slots to cutting an indie album. That release, Don’t Leave Me in Love, didn’t sell much but is now a collector’s item. It led to a contract with Capitol Records Nashville, which led to Bentley’s self-titled platinum album in 2003, and the rest is history. Bentley has been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, and not having won one yet probably has him feeling like soap star Susan Lucci, who was nominated for a Daytime Emmy 18 times before eventually winning one. So hang in there, Dierks! Bentley is on his Burning Man Tour. His most recent release is 2018’s The Mountain. You can catch him at KeyBank Pavilion with Jon Pardi and Tenille Towns. 7 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (EC, RH)
2) The third annual Pittsburgh Blues and Roots Festival unfolds over two days at the Syria Shrine Center in Cheswick. Drawing top talent both nationally and locally, the Festival is produced by the nonprofit Band Together Pittsburgh, with proceeds benefiting the Autism Society of Pittsburgh. Headline acts include zydeco virtuosos C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band (Saturday) and master blasters Tommy Castro and the Painkillers (Sunday). Featured artists also include Dana Fuchs, Vanessa Collier, Bobby Thompson and The Groove, Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers, Bill Toms and Hard Rain, and more. Acts begin at times from 1:30 to 9:15 p.m. Saturday; 1:45 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Moreover, there’s a pre-festival Warm-Up Party with Billy Price and Albert Castiglia at Moondogs in Blawnox on Friday, July 26 at 8:30 p.m. Syria Shrine Center, 1877 Shriners Way, Cheswick. (RH/MV)
3) Pittsburgh Winery is hosting its fourth annual Vine Rewind. Performers over the two-day event, which takes place Saturday, July 28 and Sunday, July 29, include: New Invisible Joy, Lyndsey Smith, Punchline, Starship Mantis, Byron Nash, Mark Dignam, Good Brother Earl, Buffalo Rose, The Telephone Line, and more. There will be two stages again this year. Several of the food purveyors on hand will be Blowfish BBQ, Edgars Best Tacos, Onion Maiden, Backwoods BBQ, and Straub Beer. Be sure to have some of Pittsburgh Winery’s tasty wine. Vine Rewind will be held on the 2700 block of Penn Avenue in the Strip District.
4) Motel Radio, a New Orleans based indie-folk band recently released their debut LP, Siesta Del Sol. Motel Radio is led by two front men which generates lush harmonies and combines to pleasing effect with “silky, melodic guitar waves.” Their new album title was inspired by a song they heard playing on a jukebox at a bar in Marfa, Texas. The group is currently on a five week national tour in support of their new release and you can catch them at Spirit where they will be opening for Summer Salt and Dante Elephante. 8 p.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville.