The Gabriel Kahane performance, scheduled for 8 tonight at One Longfellow Square, has been canceled.


Hello, music fans. First things first this week: A big congrats to Crossed Out, a band that started in 2007 while its members were all Gorham High School students and has forged ahead to ink a deal with Reindeer Records. The band — Mike Allen, guitar; Justin Getchell, drums; Mike Tracy, bass; and Alex Verill, vocals/guitar — will release “Prelude To Darkness” in October.

On that note, there’s lots of CD-release celebrating going this week, with one show at Empire and a double-header at One Longfellow Square. Be sure to join at least one of these parties.

Portlander Kris Rodgers celebrates the release of his EP “Kris Rodgers & The Dirty Gems” with a show at Empire Dine and Dance. The EP hits the ground running with “Burden on Me,” a tune bursting with Rodgers’ strong, soulful voice and seemingly caffeinated piano. “Waiting in Line” brings to mind Steely Dan and is a funky, upbeat number. “Please, Please, Please (Think It Over)” is a love song that smacks of the early ’60s, complete with doo-woppish backing vocals.

Rodgers’ band is Kurt Baker on bass and Wyatt King on drums. Their EP is a snappy, soulful and poppy affair, and it ends on a retro bluesy note with “Jack and Jill.” Before Rodgers and company do their thing, you’ll hear ’60s pop/rock from The Connection and pop/rock from Studio Audience. This one’s a bargain with only a $3 cover.

Kris Rodgers & The Dirty Gems EP-Release show. 9 tonight. Empire Dine and Dance, 575 Congress St., Portland. $3.

Boston-area singer-songwriter Sarah Blacker just released her latest CD, “Come What May.” Its 12 songs have grown on me quite nicely over the past 10 days or so. She’s a smart songwriter with a radiant voice, and she assembled a crackerjack crew of musicians to make this album. From Rob Loyot’s trumpet to Sean McLaughlin’s electric guitar and Chuck Fisher’s B3 organ, among others, the sound is terrific.

“Show me the way to get back in, because I’m lost/ Show me the way to rediscover all the things I learned when I was new,” sings Blacker on “When I was New,” one of my favorites. “Come What May” is a simple arrangement with a subtle upright bass from Rob Laff and a duo of backing vocalists. Chuck Fisher’s acoustic guitar shines as well on this one.

It’s just Blacker and her acoustic guitar on “I’m Like a Train My Lord,” a heart-rending tune in which her voice really shines. Congrats to Blacker for a job well done and for landing the opening spot for Catie Curtis, who just released her latest, “Stretch Limousine on Fire,” two weeks ago. Two good reasons to catch this show.

Catie Curtis with Sarah Blacker. 8 p.m. Saturday. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland. $20, $23;

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

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