Ray LaMontagne in Concert at Stage AE; Mr. Small’s Hosts Brett Dennen (Sun., 6/12/16)

1) New Hampshire-born singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne performs at Stage AE. LaMontagne celebrates a prolific career, having just released his sixth studio album in 12 years, titled Ouroboros and produced by Jim James of My Morning Jacket. James also plays on five out of eight of the album’s tracks, including electric guitar and saxophone on the album’s single, “Hey, No Pressure.” The album’s title comes from the ancient symbol of a snake devouring its own tail. At times buoyant and at times downbeat, LaMontagne showcases a real vocal talent that’s raspy and gravelly. His genre isn’t easily identifiable—sometimes bluesy, sometimes folksy, and sometimes a curious hybrid of several genres—but he’s always equipped with a story to tell and music to ease the soul. Whether caught in the throes of a doomed affair (“Jolene”?) or the spark of new love (“Supernova”?), chances are LaMontagne has a song in his repertoire to fit your mood. Doors open 6:30 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (EC/CM)


2) Carrot-topped Brett Dennen is like John Mayer without the tabloid attention or Dave Matthews without the stadium-filling crowds. The California native is an earnest, organic-sounding singer/songwriter with a plentiful collection of laid-back tunes and at Mr. Smalls, you can still catch him before he’s wildly famous. Given the escalating attention Dennen has received with each of his six albums, that won’t be the case for long. Dennen is touring behind his latest album Por Favor which was released in May. Firekid opens. 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. (EC/RH)


3) Lake Street Dive hits Pittsburgh this month after generating heat from recent performances on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Conan,” and NPR’s “Morning Edition.” The band members, who met while students at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music, named themselves after a street with many dive bars in trumpeter/guitarist Mike Olson’s hometown of Minneapolis. Their sound has touches of pop, Americana, jazz, and soul. For proof of their cross-genre appeal, check out 2016’s Side Pony, the quartet’s fifth studio album. It topped three Billboard albums charts—Rock, Folk, and Alternative. “Call Off Your Dogs,” a song from that album, moves in many musical directions and features a music video filmed at the famed Electric Lady Studios in New York City. The band also uploads a cover to YouTube every Halloween. 2015’s cover was Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Great music in a beautiful sylvan setting at Point State Park as part of this year’s Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. 7:30 p.m. Free. Dollar Bank Main Stage, Point State Park, Downtown. (RH/CM)



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Rick Handler

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