Thursday, May 24, at Knuckleheads
As bracing as a shot of Kentucky bourbon and as reassuring as a cherished family Bible, the voice of John Anderson is one of the most distinctive instruments in the history of country music. The crossover 1982 hit “Swingin’” introduced the Florida native’s honeyed drawl to a pop audience. Anderson’s authentic Southern style has since fallen out of favor, but country purists will never tire of singing along with Anderson’s hits like “Straight Tequila Night.” With Corb Lund and Elizabeth Cook.
7 p.m. Thursday, May 24. Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $40-$60 through knuckleheadskc.com.
Westport Roots Festival
Friday, May 25-Sunday, May 27
The Westport Roots Festival represents a sonic treasure hunt in a realm of rough-and-tumble country, blues and folk music. None of the more than 60 acts slated to perform at the three-day event is a household name. White Ghost Shivers, the festival’s top-billed act that sounds like a traditional Dixieland combo near the end of an extended bender, is relatively unknown outside of its base in Austin, Texas. Other worthy artists waiting to be unearthed include the gruff troubadour Joseph Huber and the self-styled thrashicana ensemble the Calamity Cubes.
7 p.m. Friday, May 25; 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 26; 11:30 a.m. Sunday, May 27. Three stages in and near the Westport Saloon. 816-960-4560. Tickets are $10 for Friday, $40 per day for Saturday and Sunday or $70 for two-day Saturday and Sunday passes through westportroots.com.
Friday, May 25, at the Sprint Center
Poison became a significantly bigger attraction when the members of the like-minded Mötley Crüe officially retired from touring in 2015. With their primary competition out of the picture, Poison was elevated to the status of the leading American 1980s hair-metal band still on the road. Hits like “Nothin’ but a Good Time,” “Talk Dirty to Me” and “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” seemed slight when they were released, but Poison’s durable songs have aged surprisingly well. With Cheap Trick and Pop Evil.
7 p.m. Friday, May 25. Sprint Center. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $25-$125 through sprintcenter.com.
Saturday, May 26, at the Buffalo Room
Mikal Shapiro croons that “all of my friends … want to move to Kansas City” on her new album, “The Musical II.” With roots-rock textures reminiscent of Neko Case, the Jayhawks and Lucinda Williams, Shapiro’s latest effort acts as an inviting musical welcome mat. The Kansas City singer/songwriter and energetic folk music advocate will be accompanied by a handful of similarly accomplished musicians at Saturday’s album release show for the rollicking and occasionally eerie “The Musical II.” With K’Tina.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 26. Buffalo Room at the Westport Flea Market. 816-701-9598. Tickets are $12-$20 through mikalshapiro.bandcamp.com.
Sunday, May 27, at Crossroads KC
Billed as a “salute to ’90s R&B,” Sunday’s concert at Crossroads KC will attract throngs of fortysomething couples eager to slow dance as an appealing lineup of gifted vocalists performs time-tested love songs. Donell Jones, a soul crooner from Chicago, co-headlines the show with Case. Jones sounds like a particularly amorous version of Stevie Wonder on sultry hits including “Where I Wanna Be,” “U Know What’s Up” and “Knocks Me Off My Feet.” With Le Velle and Asa Barnes.
8 p.m. Sunday, May 27. Crossroads KC. 785-749-3434. Tickets are $28.50-$75 through crossroadskc.com.
The Head and the Heart
Tuesday, May 29, at Starlight Theatre
Wide-eyed innocence and irony-free earnestness are rare commodities in the pop marketplace. The scarcity of straightforward celebrations of life causes admirers of the Head and the Heart to embrace the Seattle band’s heartwarming adult pop songs. Refreshingly devoid of cynicism, renditions of gentle folk-rock anthems like “Lost in My Mind,” “Let’s Be Still” and “Rivers and Roads” will be transformed into sentimental hymns sung by a choir of thousands on Tuesday. With Grouplove.
7 p.m. Tuesday, May 29. Starlight Theatre. 816-363-7827. Tickets are $25-$79 through kcstarlight.com.
Tuesday, May 29, at the Madrid Theatre
Kimbra Lee Johnson’s name may be known only among aficionados of left-of-center singer/songwriters, but even people with only a passing interest in pop music are familiar with “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Kimbra’s slinky collaboration with Gotye was inescapable in 2012. The New Zealand native shows her true colors on the startling new album, “Primal Heart.” Overflowing with polyrhythms and unusual textures, fresh material like “The Good War” demonstrates that Johnson is a substantive artist with staying power. With Tevin Williams.
8 p.m. Tuesday, May 29. Madrid Theatre. 816-753-8880. Tickets are $20-$38.50 through madridtheatre.com.
Tuesday, May 29, at RecordBar
“Floating Features,” the wonderful new album by surf-rock band La Luz, resembles the soundtrack to an imaginary action movie directed by Quentin Tarantino. It’s not difficult to picture songs like “Cicada” accompanying a thrilling car chase, or a bloodstained bar fight being set to “Loose Teeth.” The four woman in the Los Angeles band may not be crafting particularly innovative music, but the subtle improvements they make to familiar sounds are astonishingly effective. With the Whiffs.
8 p.m. Tuesday, May 29. RecordBar. 816-753-5207. Tickets are $12 through therecordbar.com.