JAMES MONTGOMERY BAND-- James Montgomery spent a long time spreading his blues around Cambridge before his Band, formerly his Blues Band, signed a recording contract with Atlantic. Two years ago, in a virtuoso display of harp playing, talking blues, and group discipline, the ensemble upstaged an ailing Bonnie Raitt in one of Sanders Theater's more rollicking concerts. Assuming his harp is still in tune, Montgomery can be expected to lead his band to a successful return to Cambridge this week at The Performance Center. They are playing with the Chris Rhodes Band, a local favorite.
DR. JOHN and ORCHESTRA LUNA-- I do not know enough about the music of the Bayou or of the French Caribbean to demystify Dr. John's rhythmic rock with roots in the spirit world. Friends who like theater rock listen to him continually. Orchestra Luna, another local group, plays second bill.
WENDY WALDMAN-- Waldman's career as a balladeer got a surprise boost when Maria Muldaur's album, including two of Waldman's songs, became an unexpected hit this year. I have never heard Waldman's voice, but Passim rarely indulges in second bookings for artists unless they manage strong audience response the first time around. Waldman's two cuts on Muldaur's album were more promising musically than lyrically, and the lyrics were as good as most of the ballads you hear nowadays anyhow.
THE NEW TEMPLE CHOIR-- The Folk Song Society of Greater Boston will again fill the Kirkland House Common Room with music, this time with the gospel music of The New Temple Choir. Those who miss out can catch the choir. Those who miss out can catch the choir during the monthly performances at St. Paul's church.
JAMES MONTGOMERY BAND-- Through Sat. Feb. 9 at The Performance Center I, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Call 876-4531 for information.
DR. JOHN-- Thurs. Feb. 7 at the Orpheum Theater, 8 p.m., $4.50-$6.50.
WENDY WALDMAN-- Through Sun. Feb. 10 at Passim. Call 492-7679 for information.
THE NEW TEMPLE CHOIR-- Sun. Feb. 10 at Kirkland House, 8 p.m., $2.50.