The music options this week include a reunion of Prince’s classic band and a second chance for Dead & Company.

The Revolution

9 p.m. Thursday, Joy Theater, $39.50-$64.50

The cover of the landmark 1984 album “Purple Rain” credits not just Prince, but Prince and the Revolution. He created the music — “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “I Would Die 4 U,” etc. — with the Revolution, a band he assembled some years earlier. The same musicians — guitarist Wendy Melvoin, keyboardists Lisa Coleman and Mark “Doctor” Fink, bassist Matt “Brownmark” Brown and drummer Bobby Z — were also featured on the subsequent “Around the World In a Day” album. By 1986, the Revolution was over, though some individual members continued to collaborate with Prince. After his shocking death in April 2016, the “Purple Rain” version of The Revolution reunited to perform Prince’s music. Their reunion/tribute tour comes to the Joy Theater — where the “Purple Rain” film ran in the 1980s — on Thursday. Local favorite DJ Soul Sister, a hard-core Prince fan, opens the show.

John Sinclair with the Carlo Ditta Trio

10 p.m. Thursday, d.b.a., $5

In the 1960s, John Sinclair flew his freak flag proudly at the vanguard of the cultural revolution. He managed the MC5, the radical Detroit garage rock combo, pounded out essays in opposition to The Man, and got himself sent to jail for pot possession, an incident that inspired John Lennon to write a song called “John Sinclair.” A fan of raw blues and other roots music, Sinclair eventually made his way to New Orleans. He deejayed on WWOZ and wrote for OffBeat magazine while developing a stage act in which he read his poetic, blues-inspired musings in a distinct cadence, backed by live musicians. Sinclair eventually moved on from New Orleans, but he comes back this way on occasion. For a Thursday spoken word set at d.b.a. on Frenchmen Street, he’ll be backed by guitarist and Orleans Records founder Carlo Ditta’s trio.

Dead & Company

7 p.m. Saturday, Smoothie King Center, $47 and up

Guitarist John Mayer was arguably the member of Dead & Company least likely to suffer a medical emergency. But on the morning of Dec. 5, hours before Dead & Company were to plug in at the Smoothie King Center, Mayer was rushed to a New Orleans hospital for an emergency appendectomy. The New Orleans show and two subsequent dates in Florida were postponed. It was an unexpected twist for Dead & Company, which began touring following the Grateful Dead's Fare Thee Well farewell concerts in 2015. In addition to Mayer, the band features three holdovers from the Grateful Dead's classic lineup — guitarist/vocalist Bob Weir and drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann — plus bassist Oteil Burbridge and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti. They got back in the saddle with several shows in Mexico this month. Barring any other ailments, Mayer and company will make up the Smoothie King Center date on Saturday. Tickets for the original show will be honored; additional tickets are available.

Beth Hart

8 p.m. Tuesday, Civic Theatre, $35-$70

Beth Hart has the sort of powerhouse blues/soul voice that can hold its own alongside such guitar heavyweights as Jeff Beck, Slash, Joe Bonamassa and Buddy Guy, all of whom she’s collaborated with extensively. Case in point: In 2012, she and Beck teamed up for a scorching take on “I’d Rather Go Blind” at the Kennedy Center Honors tribute to Guy. Albums of her own material have topped the blues chart, including her most recent, “Fire on the Floor.” She’s built a sizable international following and has made great strides in the United States as well, headlining Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and other theater-sized venues. She stops at the Civic Theatre on Tuesday.



The Bruskers Duo, an especially fluent acoustic guitar duo from Italy, teams up with local guitarist Jimmy Robinson at Snug Harbor.

Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones mix up rockabilly, R&B and rock ‘n’ roll at Chickie Wah Wah.

Nathan & the Zydeco Cha-chas power the dancers at Rock ‘N’ Bowl.


In anticipation of Saturday’s Dead & Company show, the Iko Allstars present “Busted on Bourbon: A NOLA Dead Tribute” at the Joy Theater on Friday. The roster includes Billy Iuso, Reggie Scanlan of the Radiators, John “Papa” Gros, Brian Stoltz, Eddie Christmas, CR Gruver of the New Orleans Suspects, Michael Fouquier of Gravity A, Johnny Vidacovich and Papa Mali.

Long-running punkabilly band Dash Rip Rock raises a racket at d.b.a. on Frenchmen Street.

The Soul Rebels team up with The GRID featuring Nesby Phips at Tipitina’s.

Earth Wind & Fire-influenced R&B band Water Seed takes flight at the Blue Nile (they return on Tuesday).

The ever-evolving roster of the Joe Marcinek Band mixes up New Orleans funk, Chicago blues and Grateful Dead-like psychedelia at the Maple Leaf.


Gramatik headlines the Joy Theater.

Singer Germaine Bazzle, saxophonist James Rivers, keyboardist David Torkanowsky, bassist George French and drummer Herlin Riley team up at Snug Harbor.

Larger-than-life, costumed cover band Bag of Donuts hits Rock ‘N’ Bowl.


The John Mahoney Big Band swings out at Snug Harbor.

The Maple Leaf hosts the Electric Company featuring guitarist Papa Mali.

The Soul Project grooves at d.b.a.


The Unholy Trinity – drummer Johnny Vidacovich, bassist James Singleton and keyboardist David Torkanowsky — cuts up at Snug Harbor.

Follow Keith Spera on Twitter, @KeithSpera.

Keith Spera writes about music, culture and his kids.