No boys allowed in the sandbox this week, I’m focusing on the ladies. I say good for me. And good for you because the shows this week are sensational.

I’ve been trying for a few weeks now to come up with a way to explain what it is that I like so much about Jolie Holland’s voice. I’m still trying. But I can tell you a few things about one of the founding members of The Be Good Tanyas and the hippest gal to come out of Houston, Texas, since Charlie’s Angel Jaclyn Smith.

Jolie’s new record, “Pint of Blood,” was released last week and to quote Depeche Mode, “I just can’t get enough.” “I’m trying to be as innocent as a dove but I’m smarter than a nest full of snakes. Oh heaven help me, if only for the devil’s sake,” she sings moodily on “The Devil’s Sake.” Jolie’s lyrics live in a world of dashed hopes, lonesome hillsides, angels, devils, emotional affliction, pretty stars, stormy seas, crooked grins, getting lost and finding yourself.

Opener act Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside is also the bee’s knees with a modern/vintage sound like I’ve never heard. Run don’t walk to and have a grand time.

Jolie Holland with Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside. 8 tonight. Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. $15 in advance/$18 day of show. Ages 18 and older.

Erica Brown’s CD-release party for her fifth album, “From Now On,” is Friday at One Longfellow Square. She’s been playing the fiddle since she was 6 and has been performing since age 9. So yeah, she’s pretty darn good and she’s logged her share of miles throughout New England, Canada and Louisiana. Brown’s traditional fiddling and bluegrass singing can be heard at, where I just spent several entirely enjoyable minutes.

Erica Brown and The Bluegrass Connection with the Stowaways and other special guests. 8 p.m. Friday. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland. $12 in advance/$15 day of show.

Paula Cole has been one of my favorite singers since I laid my ears on her “Harbinger” record back in 1994. “I Am So Ordinary” and “Happy Home” are timeless. Two years later, “This Fire” brought with it “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone,” “I Don’t Want to Wait,” and “Me,” and life as she knew it was forever changed. And here’s a fun fact about that record: Although she didn’t win, Cole was nominated for a best producer Grammy for “This Fire” and it was only the second time ever that a woman had been nominated in that category. She did snag the Best New Artist trophy.

“Amen” was Cole’s next record in 1999. A marriage, a daughter, a divorce and a hiatus from music later, Cole released “Courage” in 2007 and “Ithaca” last year. Hear the old and the new all sung with a voice that could launch a thousand ships.

Paula Cole. 9 p.m. Saturday. Jonathan’s Restaurant, 92 Bourne Lane, Ogunquit. $37.50 in advance/$40.50 day of show; 

Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at:

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