“What’s in a name … a rose by any other name … ” We know the rest; but we need to sort some names to understand who plays here this week.
Who’s Shawn Holt, for example? The son of Magic Slim, Holt joined his bluesman father’s band the Teardrops at 17 and has inherited this hard-hitting combo, leading them Friday into WAMC’s The Linda (339 Central Ave., Albany). Guitarist and singer Holt’s aptly titled “Daddy Told Me” won the Blues Foundation’s Best New Artist Debut award in 2014. 8 p.m. $15. 518-465-5233 www.thelinda.org
Who’s Steven Page? Former lead singer and main songwriter with Canadian popsters Barenaked Ladies — he left in 2009 after 20 years but played with them on this spring’s Juno Awards — Page leads his trio Saturday at The Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany). In this clip, www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTZ7kduGRrA, the trio is Craig Northey, guitar; and Kevin Fox, cello. His latest solo album is “Discipline: Heal Thyself, Pt. 2.”
New question, same show: Who’s (opener) Wesley Stace? As John Wesley Harding, the British multi-talent has made nine albums inspired equally by British folk and American pop; and as Stace he’s published novels, essays and reviews. He recorded “Wesley Stace’s John Wesley Harding” with alt-rockers the Jayhawks. 8 p.m. $34. 518-473-1845 www.theegg.org
Canadian troubadour Garnet Rogers was less well-known than super-talented older brother and bandmate Stan. After Stan died (1983), Garnet Rogers came into his own, making music with a wider stylistic range than Stan’s but just as much depth.
On Saturday, Garnet Rogers and fellow singer-songwriter-guitarist/radio host Archie Fisher play their last-ever show hereabouts, at Caffe Lena (47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs), a last chance the Caffe’s Sarah Craig calls “a bittersweet experience,” citing their “many wonderful nights to remember.” Craig is right: I’ve seen/marveled at some.
Tall as Robbie Fulks, deep-voiced Rogers sings in an amiable rumble and plays guitar with tremendous drive and imagination. His “Night Drive” names both a memoir of travels with Stan and an album whose title track punches his ticket to outer space. Two shows: 4 and 8 p.m. $30 advance, $35 door, $17.50 students and children. 518-583-0022 www.caffelena.org
One of many West African musicians named Mamadou, Malian guitarist Mamadou Kelly plays WAMC’s The Linda on Saturday. Kelly played with mentor Ali Farka Toure, then the band Alkibar before founding his own combo Ba Kai Na in 2012. He’s released three albums of his own, most recently “Djamila” recorded in Woodstock. Jazz Weekly hails Kelly’s propulsive, layered music as “the real roots of American blues and jazz.” 8 p.m. $20
Texan Americana stars Hayes Carll and Darden Smith play here this week. Neither a household name, both major talents deserve a look.
Carll’s show Tuesday at the Proctors GE Theatre (432 State St., Schenectady) is also an episode of the “On the Road with Rolling Hills” radio show. The Houston Press named his debut album “Flowers & Liquor” (2002) Best New Act; Joe Henry produced his latest, “Lovers and Leavers” (2016), earning a Grammy nomination. Carll has said the hugely influential Texas singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt “ruined me and saved me at the same time.” Our own dynamic/dynamite dobro whiz Kevin Maul supports Carll opener Ken Hardley, Rolling Hills Radio impresario. 7:30 p.m. $30.50. 518-346-6204 www.proctors.org
Darden Smith — playing WAMC’s The Linda Wednesday — also took inspiration from Van Zandt’s fearless candor and low-key melodic approach, emerging half a musical generation before Carll in roughly the same place: suburban Houston. However, Smith also discovered reggae and ’70s Brit-pop at the University of Texas in Austin, whose busy live-music scene he joined after graduation and a detour through bluegrass.
While recording 15 albums since 1986 — “Circo” (2004) is my favorite, an Americana masterpiece — Smith has launched two arts-nurturing programs: Be An Artist for students and SongwritingWith for trauma survivors including veterans. He released his new book “The Habit of Noticing: Using Creativity to Make a Life (and a Living)” last month. 8 p.m. $15
Listed last here, but hardly least, tonight Alice Cooper, best known name (or pseudonym) playing here this week, brings his mighty mix of big beats and beheadings to the Palace (19 Clinton Ave. at North Pearl Street, Albany).
Born Vincent Furnier, he’s the original shock-rocker; but also a scratch golfer, sportsbar/restaurant entrepreneur and radio host. On this “A Paranormal Evening with Alice Cooper” tour, he brings three guitars, drums and bass; plus props and special effects. 8 p.m. $94.75, $79.75, $59.75, $49.75, $39.75. 800-745-3000 www.palacealbany.com
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And I must announce today is the birthday of country stars Lil’ Larry Collins of the Collins Kids, pedal steel guitar god Lloyd Green and Leroy Van Dyke, whose “Walk On By” was Billboard’s biggest country single of all time.
Finally, “What’s In a Name” is the title of a 1967 album by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, one of the mostly oddly named bands ever.