Welcome to Seven in Seven, where we look at shows coming to the region over the next week. As always, whether your musical tastes are rock ’n’ roll, jazz, heavy metal, R&B, singer-songwriter or indie, there will always be something to check out.
Here are seven of the best on the docket for the week of Jan. 13:
En Vogue — Saturday at Rivers Casino
Since their debut in the early ’90s, En Vogue set the standard for female R&B/pop groups of the modern era and have managed to continue that tradition up to today, due to a timeless appeal and never settling for living off the past. The trio responsible for such hits as “Never Gonna Get It,” “Free Your Mind” and “Whatta Man” are a force onstage and return to town as headliners for the first time in quite a bit to what was formerly known as the SugarHouse Casino, now the Event Center at Rivers Casino.
Such — Saturday at the Loft at City Winery
Singing in her father’s church planted the seeds for soul singer Such embarking on a music career currently on the rise, and has her intent to touch the world. Following an appearance on “American Idol,” she wrote and recorded “Trial and Error,” spawning a hit single, “Sugar Maple.” The Boston-born, New York City-raised singer found a solid following in the UK, where she spent several consecutive weeks atop the soul charts, and in Africa where she won the All Africa Music Award, the continent’s equivalent of a Grammy. On her most recent LP, “Wide Nose, Full Lips,” Such was inspired by challenges such as police brutality and a desire to flip the mainstream standards of beauty, making for an unapologetic love letter to blackness.
Rob Thomas — Saturday at Wind Creek Event Center and Sunday at the Borgata
Rob Thomas is coming to the region for two very special shows this weekend. The Matchbox 20 frontman will be in Bethlehem on Saturday and Atlantic City on Sunday. Both shows are presented by the Sidewalk Angels Foundation, founded by Thomas and his wife, Marisol, in 2003, to provide funds and support to over 20 no-kill animal shelters and animal rescues across the country. Don’t worry if you can’t make either of them, though; the “Smooth” singer will be back this summer.
Oliver Wood — Sunday at Ardmore Music Hall
Mainstay of modern-day American roots music Oliver Wood has been the frontman of the Wood Brothers since 2004. Overall, he’s spent the 21st century blurring the boundaries between folk, gospel, country-soul and Americana, earning an international audience and a Grammy Award nomination along the way. His 2021 solo debut, “Always Smilin’,” continued that tradition while also shining new light on Wood’s sharp songwriting, savvy guitar chops and a voice that evokes the swagger of a Saturday evening picking party one moment and the solemnity of a Sunday morning gospel service the next.
Rhett Miller — Monday at the City Winery Main Stage
After more than two decades as the founding member of the revered Old 97’s and an acclaimed singer-songwriter in his own right, Rhett Miller has proven he can more than hold his own. Across 11 songs on his latest solo effort, “The Misfit,” Miller presents an elegant blurring of psychedelia, dream pop and electronic-leaning indie rock, grounded by vulnerable songwriting and an unaffected vocal presence. At his City Winery show, expect not only the new tracks, but also a healthy helping of Old 97’s numbers, as well.
Glen Phillips — Thursday, Jan. 19, at the City Winery Main Stage
Courageous and inviting in his songwriting, Glen Phillips has always been wildly underrated. Beginning with his years as lead singer of Toad the Wet Sprocket, the band’s elegant folk/pop sound and his honest, introspective lyrics helped them forge a close bond with their fans. Since embarking on a concurrent solo career, he’s pared the music down to its emotional core, concentrating on the simple truths of love and relationships, with a profound spiritual understanding. It makes for some of the most soul-bearing songs to come down the road, whether it’s telling a story or spilling his heart.
Adam Ezra Group — Thursday, Jan. 19, at Sellersville Theater 1894
Working outside the confines of the traditional music industry, Adam Ezra and his bandmates built a community of fans through sheer grit and determination, regularly performing hundreds of shows a year for the past two decades without any major label or mainstream radio support. Fusing folk intimacy and rock energy with soul power and pop charm, the band first emerged from Boston in the early 2000s and quickly garnered widespread acclaim for bold, insightful songwriting and interactive, euphoric performances. The band didn’t stop during COVID, reaching millions of fans via livestreaming. Now back on the road, those same followers are getting to see the group in person once again.
• En Vogue: “Free Your Mind”
• Such: “All I Want”
• Rob Thomas: “Lonely No More”
• Oliver Wood: “Soul of This Town”
• Rhett Miller: “Follow You Home”
• Glen Phillips: “Big Changes”
• Adam Ezra Group: “Let Your Hair Down”
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