Kermit Ruffins & the BBQ Swingers with the Mummers feat. New Sound Brass at the Blockley, 38th and Chestnut, at 9 p.m. Friday. Tickets: $18, $20. Phone: 215-222-1234, www.theblockley.com.
Calexico may have abandoned its native Tucson for the outskirts of New Orleans to record Algiers
, its seventh studio album, but that didn't drastically alter the dusky desert sound. Drummer Joey Burns and guitarist and vocalist John Convertino have always painted with a varied palette any way. Burns has described Calexico's style as encompassing "Portuguese fado, '50s jazz, Gypsy or Romani music and its offshoots, '60s surf and twang from Link Wray to country's Duane Eddy, the spaghetti-western epics of Ennio Morricone, and dark indie rock singer songwriters." That's an apt list, although it neglects the many Mexican elements, especially the mariachi horns that grace songs both on Algiers
and throughout Calexico's catalog, and downplays the wide-screen crescendos that become even more powerful live, as Friday's show at Union Transfer will no doubt prove.
- Steve Klinge
Calexico and Dodos play at 9 p.m. Friday at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. Tickets: $20. Information: 215-232-2100, www.utphilly.com.
She'll be 75 in a week, and Wanda Jackson is enjoying a new round of attention and acclaim. The pioneering female rocker and "Queen of Rockabilly" made a splash last year with the Jack White-produced The Party Ain't Over
(playing off the title of her 1958 rocker "Let's Have a Party"). Now she's back with another tellingly titled set, Unfinished Business
, produced by another young admirer, Justin Townes Earle. Besides showing that she's still hot as a pistol, it also shows that she's more than just a "Fujiyama Mama," ready to blow her top. She's a versatile singer with a voice that can be both serrated and sultry. So she delivers punchy R&B with "Tore Down" and "Old Weakness (Coming on Strong)"; lean, mean rock with "It's All Over Now"; girl-group pop with "Pushover"; uplifting gospel with "Two Hands"; and a killer country ballad, "Am I Even a Memory?" as a duet with Earle. It all adds up to someone who sounds far from finished.
- Nick Cristiano
Wanda Jackson, with Daniel Romano, at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Sellersville Theater, 24 W. Temple Ave., Sellersville. Tickets: $29.50 and $40. Information: 215-257-5808, www.st94.com.