She sang at Usher’s wedding and you know he could have had just about anyone serenade him. But he picked Hathaway, the daughter of late great R&B singer Donny Hathaway. Where many contemporary R&B singers feel the need to over-emote and cram as many notes into each bar as possible, Hathaway just sings with warmth and ease. And that’s more than enough. On her new album, “Where It All Begins,” she reaches back into her father’s catalog for both the cover art and the track “You Were Meant For Me.”
7 and 9:30 p.m. Nov. 5. $32.50; $30 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.
Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba
Mali’s phenomenal Bassekou Kouyate ventured here last year with Bela Fleck’s Africa Project, but he returns to headline the show this time around. Kouyate plays the ngoni, an ancestor of the banjo. He and his group, Ngoni Ba, make a marvelous chiming sound by blending four ngonis. Check out the ensemble’s latest album, “I Speak Fula.”
8 p.m. Nov. 5. $31-$57. Rialto Center for the Arts, 80 Forsyth St. N.W., Atlanta.404-413-9849.
On her new album, “Metals,” Feist is stretching the boundaries, restlessly searching for new ways to expand her sound without losing her distinctive musical identity. It consolidates the strides she made on her breakthrough, “The Reminder,” but anywhere her music travels, her cracked and sultry voice holds it all together.
8 p.m. Nov. 6. $31.50. Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-659-9022.
Dave Grohl and his band mates make pretty straight-forward rock that works some kind of alchemical magic with the base elements of modern rock. Everything they do comes out better in practice than it seems in theory. The band’s new album, “Wasting Light,” is further proof that you don’t need a gimmick, just solid songwriting and skilled musicianship will do nicely.
7:30 p.m. Nov. 7. $31.50-$51.50. Gwinnett Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 770-813-7500.
For those under 30, Rundgren is probably best known if at all as the man actress Liv Tyler thought was her father when she was a child. He isn’t, but he’s created some other things that are just as pretty: “I Saw the Light, “ “Hello, It’s Me” and “Can We Still Be Friends,” for starters. After a stint with the New Cars, he’s back doing his own stuff, and that’s a much better use of his time and ours. This tour revisits his time with the band Utopia. The line-up of Kevin Ellman, Jesse Gress, Moogy Klingman, Ralph Schuckett, John Siegler and Kasim Sulton, reunites most of the first recorded version from the group’s 1974 debut album, “Todd Rundgren’s Utopia.”
8 p.m. Nov. 9. $24. Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.
Nick Thorburn (of Islands/the Unicorns), Ryan Kattner (of Man Man) and Joe Plummer (of Modest Mouse) join forces as Mister Heavenly. The band’s music has been touted as “doom wop,” due to a love of those great ‘50s R&B vocal group tunes. You’ll need a big imagination to hear that in the rumbling tracks from the band’s August-issued “Out of Love.” What they do share with those classic doo-wop sides is a big batch of nagging hooks that stick to the brain.
8:30 p.m. Nov. 10. $15. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. S.E., Atlanta. 404- 522-3950.
Allman Brothers/Gov’t Mule guitarist Warren Haynes plays a bold, elastic version of Southern-fried blues-rock, which will never grow stale as long as he’s around to give it a kick every now and then. His latest album, “Man in Motion,” delves into Southern soul and it’s fitting that it’s been released on the revived Stax label, the birthplace of some of the greatest soul music of all time. He assembled a stellar group of sidemen to record the album, including Ivan Neville, the Meters brilliant bassist George Porter Jr. and former Faces keyboardist Ian MacLagan.
8 p.m. Nov. 10. $27.50. Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-659-9022.
Shane Harrison / email@example.com