If the name “Duke Robillard” suggests a cattle baron of Wayne-ian swagger, that’s not wrong. Since riding with such masters as Big Joe Turner, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson and Jay McShann, Duke formed, led and left bands, including the first edition of the Blues Brothers.
Duke first turned up here with Roomful of Blues in the late 1970s at JB Scott’s: snazzy suit, not a hair out of place. He wields such old-school guitar mastery that everything looks easy. He swings as much as he rocks and knows a million songs, maybe more. He’s made 32 albums under his own name, three each with Roomful of Blues and the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and too many more for this page as guest/session god.
On Saturday, he returns to the Van Dyck (237 Union St., Schenectady), likely with Bruce Bears, piano; Brad Hallen, bass; and Mark Teixeira, drums. 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. $18 advance, $22 door. 348-7999 www.vandycklounge.com.
On Friday, Portugal. The Man plays the Palace (19 Clinton Ave. at N. Pearl St., Albany). Hailing from Wasilla, Alaska, (like some half-forgotten pseudo-celebrity), they are John Gourley, vocals, guitar, organ, drum machines; Zachary Carothers, bass; Kyle O’Quin, keyboards, guitar; Eric Howk, guitar; Jason Secrist, drums; plus extra guitarists and percussionists. Their new eighth album “Woodstock” honors the purpose of the 1969 festival (Gourley’s father saw it): “to comment on societal and political unease.” Electric Guest opens: the duo of singer-player Asa Taccone and Matthew Compton, drums; with Luke Top, bass; and Reese Richardson, keyboards, guitar. They recently followed their Danger Mouse-produced debut “Mondo” with “Plural.” 8 p.m. $35, $29.50. 800-745-3000 www.palacealbany.org.
Who’s who when Swedish metal monsters Ghost take over the Palace on Tuesday? Masked and robed like cultists, they’re anonymous as Daft Punk or the Residents. Lead singer Papa Emeritus, clad Pope-like onstage, is known under his real name Tobias Forge only because of lawsuits. The others call themselves Nameless Ghouls: They’re Fire, lead guitar; Water, bass; Wind, keyboards; Earth, drums; and Ether, rhythm guitar. Ghost won the Grammy for Best Metal Performance last year for “Cirice” while “Popestar” topped Billboard’s Top Albums and Hard Rock Albums charts last fall. Pennsylvania synth-wave duo Zombi opens. 8 p.m. $75, $35.
Kinda punk, kinda underground, virtuoso rockers Dan Stuart and Tom Heyman are a super group of modest dimensions, a duo but imposing pedigree. Stuart co-founded Paisley underground pioneers Green on Red with Chuck Prophet and toured with Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate, the Baseball Project, many more), while Heyman co-founded Go to Blazes and toured with Alejandro Escovedo (who hasn’t?) and John Doe (ex-X). Stuart & Heyman launched their first tour on impulse and have followed that impromptu muse ever since, landing at the Low Beat (335 Central Ave., Albany) on Sunday. 7 p.m. $8. 432-6572 www.thelowbeat.com.
John Mayall brings imposing credentials to the Cohoes Music Hall (58 Remsen St.) Tuesday. The 84-year-old godfather of British blues inspired and/or employed generations of future stars including Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood and many more. Mayall’s 65 albums — from his 1965 debut to this year’s “Talk About That” — span Delta, Chicago and Piedmont styles and his own experiments into drumless acoustic bands. Mayall sings and plays keyboards, guitar and harmonica with Greg Rzab, bass; and Jay Davenport, drums. Olivia Quillio opens. 8 p.m. $55, $42. 800-745-3000 www.palacealbany.org.
On Wednesday, the New Breed Brass Band launches the Made in the Shade of The Egg series of free lunchtime shows outdoors — yeah, right in the shade under The Egg. The New Breed Brass Band are young guys connected to the deep New Orleans tradition of rocking brass-reeds-and-drums crews. They are Jenard Andrews (son of trumpeter James Andrews and nephew of Trombone Shorty — who rocks The Egg June 14!), snare drum; Desmond Prevost (nephew of guitarist/banjoist Carl LeBlanc), sousaphone; Glenn Hall and Aurelian Barnes (son of accordionist Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes), trumpets; Caleb Windsay (son of singer Yolanda Windsay), trombone; and more. Noon. Free.