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Critic's picks: The Music of Cream, Postmodern Jukebox, and Home Free

Our critic's top picks for May 6 to May 11
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The Music of Cream features Will Johns, left, and Kofi Baker, who each have ties to the British blues icons. CHRISTINE CONNALLON

BLUES: The Music of Cream

Where: Capital Ballroom, 858 Yates St.

When: Friday, May 6, 8 p.m. (doors at 7)

Tickets: $42.23 from admitone.com

Why: This musical tribute to the brief but legendary power trio has more going for it than others of its ilk. For starters, its co-creators, guitarist Will Johns and drummer Kofi Baker, have direct ties to Cream members Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Jack Bruce, but the music also rings true. Johns and Baker can flat-out play, and their previous tour, which stopped at the McPherson Playhouse in 2020, was superb. Their anticipated return, set for the Capital Ballroom on Friday, will see the group play Cream’s 1967 classic, Disraeli Gears, in its entirety, followed by a set of Clapton-related classics.

A CAPELLA: Home Free

Where: Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton St.

When: Friday, May 6, 8 p.m.

Tickets: $47-$68.75

Why: Home Free were crowned Season Four winners of The Sing-Off, an NBC reality competition which pitted a cappella groups against each other in an American Idol format. The Minnesota-bred group wowed judges and audiences in 2013 with their vocal dexterity and homespun finesse on everything from Kenny Loggins’ I’m Alright and Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire to Florida’s Georgia Line’s Cruise and Tom Cochrane’s Life is a Highway. The quintet’s live show will combine the aforementioned hits with standards and originals, and healthy amounts of humour. The group is touring to support Land of the Free, which arrived last year.

JAZZ: Postmodern Jukebox

Where: Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton St.

When: Monday, May 9, 8 p.m.

Tickets: $44-$94 from rmts.bc.ca, by phone from 250-386-6121, or in person through the Royal McPherson box office

Why: Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox is still throwing everything at its disposal in the kitchen sink and coming up with gold. The group from the jazz hotbed that is New York features a rotating cast of exceptional players, all of whom are up for the radical reinvention which takes place at every PMJ performance. Hits from every era are given the big band treatment, and usually with a cheeky nod for (see: Olivia Rodrigo’s Happier done as The Shirelles, or Justin Bieber’s Stay delivered with Frankie Lymon-esque zip). The group also performs Tuesday at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo.

mdevlin@timescolonist.com