The traditional end of summer arrives Monday, but the music calendar remains in mid-summer form. The weather's cooling down to boot, so enjoy the last few chances you have to see music in the great outdoors. Let's examine our best options for this long holiday weekend, shall we?
Starting Thursday, as part of its Town Park concert series, the Newpark Resort is hosting Texas soul dynamo Ruthie Foster for a free 6 p.m. show. Check out Ruthie belting "Travelin' Shoes," right here:
Also Thursday, "Mary Poppins" begins a nearly month-long run at the Capitol Theatre with 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. shows Thursday. Tickets remain on sale at arttix.com. You have a lot of chances between now and Sept. 25 to see this production. Should be a hoot.
Also, the final two shows of the Red Butte summer lineup hit this weekend, starting Thursday with trance-groovers Thievery Corp., playing a 7:30 p.m. show. It's always good to dance at RBG and this show probably offers more of a chance to do so than Sunday night's sold-out show featuring Alison Kraus and Union Station. While Kraus' blend of bluegrass, folk and pop music is highly danceable, the crowd will probably be seated much of the night. This will be despite dobro master Jerry Douglas's presence, which helps fuel Krauss's gigs with a bluegrass stomp-party element.
And in an adventurous, intriguing pairing, Dawes opens the sold-out show. This California quartet is touring behind its sophomore effort, "Nothing Is Wrong." And while it's not quite as strong as their debut album, it still shows a lot of promise and gets better with subsequent listenings. These guys have garnered a lot of buzz and have backed Robbie Robertson of The Band recently. Meanwhile, here's Alison singing one of my favorite Billy Joe Shaver songs.
Also Thursday, an intriguing indie-rock gig at The Urban Lounge as San Francisco duo Two Gallants roll through. These folk rockers have a stark, appealing sound. Check out "Steady Rollin'" right here:
And Thursday night, the Utes football season begins at Rice-Eccles Stadium against the Big Sky's Montana State Bobcats. As always ride TRAX if you can and don't drive around the U. between 5 and 7 p.m., unless you want to drive really slow for a while. The game is sold out and starts at 6 p.m.
A cool option for some on Friday, at The State Room, will be to watch a simulcast of Vermont rock band Phish live from their first of three shows this weekend in Denver. Admission is free, but you should RSVP and be sure to bring a non-perishable food item for the Utah Food Bank. What's funny is that I know people who still live and breathe this band and I know other people who think they're the worst thing in music. They're far from THAT, but I don't fly around the country to see them either.
And in Park City on Saturday, California singer-songwriter Jackie Greene will play a free concert at The Canyons. Greene's originals are under-loved and sadly, a lot of people hit these shows seemingly just to hear the handful of Grateful Dead or Beatles' covers that are standard fare. That's a shame, because as much as the covers are, Greene's own songs are the real centerpiece. Check out "Nothing from Nothing" below:
And don't forget dance-rockers extraordinaire Starf***er are at Kilby Court. Looking forward to that one. Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 the day of.
Follow Salt Lake arts/entertainment writer Scott Murphy on Twitter @murphyinfo.