Taking care of business

By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  September 14, 2009

BOSS OF BOSSA Brazilian singer-songwriter Milton Nascimento comes to the Berklee Performance Center November 15.

ELLIS PAUL | October 29-31 | One of the patron saints of modern New England songwriting, the Maine-born Paul — with his open-tuned strumming and soaring vocal style — has been lauded with 13 Boston Music Awards. He celebrates the release of his 18th studio album, The Day After Everything Changed (Black Wolf), with three nights of shows at Cambridge's folk haven, Club Passim. Paul will also perform his children's music — an addition to his repertoire with 2007's The Dragonfly Races (Black Wolf) — at a 3:30 pm matinee on the 31st. | 47 Palmer St, Cambridge | $28-30; $8-10 Sunday matinee | 617.492.7679 or www.clubpassim.org

"MONSTERS OF FOLK" | November 3 | Emoting boys with acoustic guitars rule this punny yap-back at the "Monsters of Rock" tours. So far, the principals — Conor Oberst, M. Ward, and Jim James — have collaborated on four songs available at iTunes, but an album is due September 22, just before their bus rolls. Bright Eyes leader Oberst also has a new solo debut, Outer South (Merge). Likewise, the tour and CD are a holiday for James from his regular gig fronting My Morning Jacket. But the real star is likely to be the sonorous and prolific Ward. This tasteful, adventurous songsmith is enjoying an elevated profile thanks to She & Him, the group he leads with Zooey Deschanel, and his new mellow-rock Hold Time (Merge) seems destined for critics' year-end lists. | Orpheum Theatre, 1 Hamilton Place, Boston | $37.50-47.50 | 877.598.8689 or www.livenation.com

SUZANNE VEGA | November 6 | This modernist folksinger began performing in Greenwich Village, but Passim and WFNX radio played a pivotal role in launching her career as an international star. So Vega's Boston-area shows are like homecomings. Her latest album is 2007's Beauty & Crime, a sleek collection of pop songs inspired by life in pre- and post-9/11 New York City, Vega's long-time home. | Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy St, Cambridge | $39-49 | 617.482.6661 or www.celebrityseries.org

MILTON NASCIMENTO | November 15 | Although his recent Novas Bossas (EMI) explores classic bossa nova, this singer/guitarist typically embodies the post-bossa-nova sound of Brazilian pop: light, breezy, beautiful, jazz-infused, and balancing African rhythmic roots with modern production flourishes. | Berklee Performance Center, 136 Mass Ave, Boston | $30-42 | 617.876.4275 or www.worldmusic.org

CHRIS SMITHER | November 16 | Folk, blues, and rock are all part of this guitar-picking singer-songwriter's bag, though his most profound early influences include Mississippi bluesmen like John Hurt and Son House. Smither began his performing career at Cambridge's historic Club 47 (the predecessor of Passim), and he came to fame after Bonnie Raitt covered his "Love Me like a Man" in 1972. Thirty-seven years later, he's got an international following and 14 albums that include the clever and soulful new Time Stands Still (Mighty Albert/Signature Sounds). | Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St, Arlington | $27 | 781.646.4849 or www.regenttheatre.com

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