Every Friday, we highlight three great shows from local performing artists that you can see this coming weekend.


Voices: “American Songs, Poems & Spirituals”
Friday, July 18th at 7:30PM at University United Methodist Church


Bigger is usually better for Voices, Chapel Hill’s friendly neighborhood chorus. When you have more than 100 members, after all, why not get loud? That’s why their biannual concerts (something Christmasy in December, something classic in May) tend to favor the warhorses – the pieces that sounds best with a big orchestra in a big hall.

But every summer, when vacations shrink their ranks, they sing something a little smaller. It gives them a chance to try new things, to collaborate with other artists, or just to sing old favorites. That doesn’t mean their ambition has shrunk, though: their theme this summer is “American music,” a broad brush if ever there was one. And they’ll explore it from very different angles: from the mid-century classicism of Aaron Copland and Virgil Thomson, to the grand old standards of musical theater, to the roof-rattling praise of African-American spirituals. It’s a chance to hear the varying currents of our national music crash up against each other, all in the voices of Voices.


Bluegrass And Brews
Sunday, July 20th at 4PM at Briar Chapel


Southern Village has a well-deserved reputation as the place to be for performances in Chapel Hill. But this weekend, Briar Chapel is getting in on the act. The community is hosting a laid-back afternoon with the Hey Brothers, a popular local bluegrass outfit. This five-piece band (brothers in bluegrass, if not in real life) is the genuine article – an old-style string band that revels in the close harmony and train-track rhythms of their music. They’re also just five guys from around the Triangle, playing together for fun and profit.

If the bluegrass isn’t enough to bring you down to Briar Chapel, how about the brews? Carrboro’s own Steel String Brewery (founded by musicians, incidentally) will be on the scene, as will the mobile eats of Baguettaboutit and Little Dippers Italian Ice. It’ll be a beautiful – and musical and edible  – afternoon.


Music On The Green: The Byron Paul Band
Sunday, July 20th at 6PM at Southern Village


A band called Heartwood rose up in the early 1970s, part of the flowering of the Southern Rock movement. They released a few well-crafted albums, including 1975’s Nothin’ Fancy, but when their career didn’t bring them to national prominence, they split up.

But people who love playing music together are bonded for life. And so the Byron Paul Band, made up of Heartwood’s lead guitarist and drummer (plus bassist Bobby Paul), keeps playing today. The members have careers and families outside of music now, but they’ve never stopped playing. They explore all kinds of Americana, not just Southern Rock, and that’s what they’ll bring to their concert Sunday evening on the Southern Village green. Now, though, it’s only about the chance to play great music together. They’ve truly made it.


For more on these and other great activities, visit our full event calendar, or click here to sign up for our newsletter and get “Ten Things To Do In Chapelboro This Weekend” delivered every Thursday to your email inbox.