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Country & Folk

Critic's picks

By James Reed
Globe Staff / May 22, 2011

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JASON ALDEAN All you need to know about this country star is in the title of his latest album, ‘‘My Kinda Party.’’ Aldean recently appealed to pop fans, too, with his duet with Kelly Clarkson, ‘‘Don’t You Wanna Stay.’’ June 5, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $15.75-$49.75. Comcast Center. 800-745-3000, www.livenation.com

ALELA DIANE ‘‘Alela Diane and Wild Divine,’’ Diane’s third and most recent album, finds this California-bred singer-songwriter exploring the vestiges of dusky ’70s folk and country-rock. June 16, 9 p.m. Tickets: $12. Brighton Music Hall. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com

GREATER NEW BEDFORD SUMMERFEST Bring the family to this two-day celebration of folk arts and roots music from around the world, including Antje Duvekot, Ellis Paul, and Le Vent du Nord. July 2-3, various showtimes. Single-day pass: $20. Weekend pass: $25 ($21 in advance online). Free for children under age 12. Downtown New Bedford. www.newbedfordsummerfest.com

JOLIE HOLLAND Club Passim will be an intimate venue for this chameleonic singer-songwriter whose music somehow manages to look both forward and back. This show will sell out, so order tickets in advance. July 5, 7 p.m. Tickets: $23. Club Passim. 617-492-7679, www.clubpassim.com

KEITH URBAN Celebrating 20 years since the release of his self-titled debut, this Aussie country star is on a victory lap for last year’s ‘‘Get Closer.’’ July 8, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $25-$75. TD Garden. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com

ALISON KRAUSS & UNION STATION This long-running bluegrass outfit is having a banner year, with a new album, ‘‘Paper Airplane,’’ recently debuting at No. 3 on the Billboard pop chart. The group’s show at the Cape Cod Melody Tent on July 23 is already sold out. July 28, 8 p.m. Tickets: $39.50-$69.50. Citi Wang Theatre. 866-348-9738, www.telecharge.com

LOWELL FOLK FESTIVAL Perhaps the only festival around where you can experience Ethiopian funk music (Debo Band) on the same stage as modern bluegrass (Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper) and polka (Stanky & the Coal Miners). July 29-31, various showtimes. Free. Downtown Lowell. 978-970-5000, www.lowellfolkfestival.org

NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL Emmylou Harris, the Decemberists, Gillian Welch, and Elvis Costello are just a few of the highlights of this year’s festival. July 30-31, various showtimes. Two-day pass: $125. Single-day pass: $77, $69 in advance. Children ages 3-15: $15 each day. Fort Adams State Park, Newport, R.I. www.newportfolkfest.net

GEORGE JONES The Possum turns 80 this year, but you’d never know it from his still-vital takes on hits such as ‘‘She Thinks I Still Care.’’ July 31, 2 p.m. Tickets: $42.50-$55. Indian Ranch, 200 Gore Road, Webster. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com

MARTINA McBRIDE With a new album expected this summer, McBride will probably be offering a sneak preview in addition to other songs from throughout her career as one of country music’s most consistent hitmakers. Aug. 5, 8 p.m. Cape Cod Melody Tent.; Aug. 6, 8 p.m. South Shore Music Circus; Aug. 7, 7:30 p.m. South Shore Music Circus. Tickets: $49.25-$91.25. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com