Listen to the music of Patty Griffin, Sara Watkins, or Anaïs Mitchell on its own and you’re likely to be moved by its emotional heft at least once. Put all three women on stage together and you might as well jam your pockets full of tissues now. Acoustic musicians whose work descends from American folk traditions, each approaches her compositions differently. Griffin, who alternates between guitar-heavy rock anthems and delicate piano ballads, has recently explored gospel influences; Watkins, a founding member of “newgrass” act Nickel Creek, tilts toward country and pop; and Mitchell mines literature and music of the past to create her sonic portraits. At this performance, they’ll play each other’s songs. This isn’t the second coming of Lilith Fair so much as it’s a collection of voices joining together to document contemporary life. You still might cry if Griffin starts playing “My Dear Old Friend.” Patty Griffin, Sara Watkins, and Anaïs Mitchell perform at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. $38–$48. (301) 581-5100. strathmore.org.