When David Johansen got started in the biz as a New York Doll, he came across like the bastard progeny of Howling Wolf and Bowie with all his tart glam swish and chunky, bluesy swagger. As solo albums ensued and time went on, the puckish Johansen kept his boogie-woogie shoes twitching (“Funky but Chic”), found urban blue-eyed soul (In Style) and a sense of kitsch hearkening back to his glitter-rawk days with high-haired lounge act Buster Poindexter. He also found himself deeply immersed in the arcane and rootsy Americana of blues and folk when, in 2000, the singer and harmonicat released an album as “David Johansen and the Harry Smiths” that dashingly covered the likes of Lightnin’ Hopkins and Muddy Waters. Lately, he’s recorded and toured with the Dolls (or what’s left of them — only he and Syl Sylvain remain), which left little time for solo shows. This live outing, then, is a rare treat, with Johansen making stops at every point in his career.
Thu., Jan. 17, 8 p.m., $15, World Café Live, 3025 Walnut St., 215-222-1400, worldcafelive.com.