Anyone who witnessed Josh Groban's mock infomercial "The Best Tweets of Kanye West" on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" knows the operatic singer is culture-savvy. Yet it's still surprising to discover last year's album "Illuminations" was produced by Rick Rubin (Run DMC, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash).

Anyone who witnessed Josh Groban's mock infomercial "The Best Tweets of Kanye West" on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" knows the operatic singer is culture-savvy. Yet it's still surprising to discover last year's album "Illuminations" was produced by Rick Rubin (Run DMC, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash).

Furthermore, "Illuminations" features songwriting from Nick Cave and mother-son pairing Kate McGarrigle and Rufus Wainwright. Ultra-hip guitarists Matt Sweeney and Smokey Hormel are among the all-star cast of collaborators. This is where the mainstream and underground's maudlin currents intersect.

Still sounds like your usual Groban album, though. He'll flex those vocal chords Friday at the Schott.