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04/11/2017
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Keith Spera's Sound Check: Zucchero, Drive-By Truckers and more music for April 13-19, 2017

Options for live music in New Orleans this week include an Italian rock star and a pairing of contemporary rhythm and blues singers.

Zucchero
8 p.m. Thursday; Civic Theatre; tickets $25 to $35

If you were to tell a friend in Italy that you have a chance to see Zucchero in a venue that holds less than 1,500 people, the Italian would be shocked. The rock, soul and blues guitarist and singer — his stage name is the Italian word for sugar — is a huge star in his native Italy and throughout Europe. He has sold tens of millions of albums and worked with the likes of Eric Clapton, Sting, Miles Davis, Luciano Pavarotti and John Lee Hooker, yet he remains relatively unknown in the United States. For his new “Black Cat” album, he collaborated with Bono, Elvis Costello — who wrote the first single, “Turn the World Down” — and Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler, among others. Locals Ruby & the Rogues, featuring singer-songwriter Ruby Rendrag, and Tonya Boyd-Cannon open the show.