Bill Frisell Trio
Reynolds Industries Theater, Duke Campus —"He's one of those guys that, when I met him, I hadn't even heard his music, but I ... knew we would be playing together somehow," says the soft-spoken guitarist Bill Frisell of steel guitarist Greg Leisz. "When we did play, it was an instant hookup. That happened with all of them, Jenny Scheinman and Viktor Krauss, who I will be there with in North Carolina. It just turns into a family thing right away."
The family comparison is apt, as that trio—Leisz on steel, Krauss on bass, Scheinman on violin—will accompany Frisell for Disfarmer Project: Musical Portraits from Heber Springs at Duke. Post-Depression photographer Mike Disfarmer shot thousands of American Gothic portraits in his studio in Heber Springs, Ark., starkly capturing the faces of American families experiencing life transitions amid international upheaval. Original prints of those portraits have been collector grails for several years now, but—tonight—their projections come accompanied by the impeccable tone and lyrical grace of Bill Frisell's guitar. For more on Disfarmer, see page 25. Tickets are $5-$38 for an 8 p.m. start. —Grayson Currin
The Cave—If you know the name Barton Carroll (N.C.-born but Pacific Northwest-based), it's a good bet that you recognize it from his work with fellow expats Crooked Fingers and Dolorean. But sideman doesn't mean sidekick, and Carroll establishes his own identity on his new The Lost One, even as he inhabits the many characters and voices in his songs. His everyman brooding is tempered with optimism—or, in song title speak, "Pretty Girl's Going to Ruin My Life (Again)" meets "Brooklyn Girl, You're Going to Be My Bride." Carroll has the 7:30 p.m. shift at The Cave, and $5 gets you in. —Rick Cornell