Howie Day’s career has been fascinating and problematic. A musical prodigy (he could play commercial jingles by ear on the piano when he was six), Day was gigging around Maine by the time he entered high school. He opened for Ziggy Marley when he was 17, touring so much his senior year that he barely graduated. A pair of demos he recorded netted him months of college gigs, which convinced the singer-songwriter to forego his own advanced education. His 2000 self-released debut, Australia, resulted in a record contract when he was 19. The follow-up, 2003’s Stop All the World Now, went gold, spurred by constant radio play of “Collide.” Then Day ran into some legal trouble — first for locking a fan in his tour-bus bathroom when she rebuffed his advances and then for verbally abusing a flight crew. In 2006, he took some time off from the road to reflect and enter rehab for his alcohol problems. He soon began writing the songs that became last year’s Sound the Alarm. Day plays House of Blues’ Cambridge Room (308 Euclid Avenue, 216.523.2583), with Serena Ryder and Mikey Wax opening at 8 p.m. Tickets: $20 advance, $22 day of show. — Brian Baker
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