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CL previews upcoming concerts (Dec. 30-Jan.5) 

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 30

Davisson Brothers Band Nothing like strolling into a smoke-filled honky tonk and hearing some true blue country music. It's obvious these three siblings, plus one, know their twangy guitars and shattered heart lyrics sung with deep south, nasally vocals. They're based in Nashville, the land of too dang many pop country combos, yet cling to old school country sprinkled with southern rock and bluegrass. With the Piedmont Boys. Neighborhood Theatre (Samir Shukla)

THURSDAY, DEC. 31

Sugar Glyder Every town has some bands where you look up after a while and think, "What just happened? Did they really play almost 100 shows in the last year? Where was I? Who went to see them? Where were they playing?" The answer, at least with Sugar Glyder, is mostly out of town. Since releasing their sophomore CD, Poor Baby Zebra, earlier this year, the UNCC-matriculated quartet has found a market for its Brit-polished take on college rock, and said market seemingly exists elsewhere. Sonically, there's a great deal of depth here, but the songwriting, at least to these ears, doesn't always hold up to its end of the bargain. Then again, you give someone like Chris Martin free reign, and you see what happens. There's promise here, however, if currently the band's reach sometimes escapes their grasp. Double Door Inn (Timothy C. Davis)

Keller Williams Man, how does this guy balance a real estate conglomerate and play so many shows? Boggles the mind. Anyway, you've probably heard or read about Mssr. Williams before, but if not, here's the skinny. He can play the hell out of an acoustic guitar. When performing solo, he often loops riffs of his own invention into what a lazy music writer would call a Rich Tapestry of Sound. His songs tend toward the funny/lighthearted – sort of a Todd Snider without the cynicism or snarl. Unfortunately, this also means the songs can seem a little throwaway on occasion, but the overall package – the Kottke-like fingerpicking, the reggae and bluegrass flourishes, Williams' hambone stage presence – is attractive enough. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

Simplified w/ Evelynn Rose It may look like last year if you see Simplified again, but let's face it – things have changed. The guys have opened up for a few big names – O.A.R. and Blues Traveler among them, and they're working on new material, too. Aside from all that, you've got some rowdy rock in the form of Evelynn Rose opening up the night's festivities. Judging by song titles like "Wake and Bake" and the videos of E. Rose partying in the Middle East, this is gonna be a long and raucus night. Visulite Theatre (Jeff Hahne)

FRIDAY, JAn. 1

Lucky Five The Charlotte-area quintet's soul-licked blues takes cues from classic blues-rock of the late 60's along with jam sentiments of contemporary rockers. Although these youngsters play and sound as if they've been around hell of a lot longer than couple of years. With dual guitars, a bopping rhythm section, and a thick-voiced singer/keyboardist, Lucky Five's got the chops and the moxie for the long haul. With the Lo and Beholds. Snug Harbor (Shukla)

SATURDAY, JAN. 2

Liz Durrett Here's what we learned from Durrett's set here last year: Girl can hold a room in the palm of her hand and wrest all the emotion from it with just a guitar, her voice and a little reverb. Durrett's Outside Our Gates, an excellent 2008 release whose gothic narratives could bookend her uncle Vic Chesnutt's work, was fleshed out with horns and a few coats of synth noise. Her performance made you forget all the production tricks and concentrate instead on her transcendent vocals – a perfect blend of sultry and forlorn – as they delivered the humid press of Southern days in song. Opening for Erich Bachman (Crooked Fingers) at the early show. Evening Muse (John Schacht)

Michael Burks Burks' thick fingers easily coax supple blues riffs from six strings while his gruff voice could only emanate from a seasoned bluesman. The contemporary bluesman channels "lump in the throat" traditional blues. Check the blistering, slow burning track "Icepick through my heart," off his recent Iron Man disc, for a textbook lesson on unfolding and playing sweat-drenched blues. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

SUNDAY, JAN. 3

The Wailers Led by Aston "Familyman" Barrett, the band has continued performing around the world since the death of legendary frontman Bob Marley. Performing songs from those years as well as new material, the band continues to spread the music to adoring fans and hopes to release an album of new material next year, while focusing energy on its "I Went Hungry" campaign. Visulite Theatre (Hahne)

TUESDAY, JAN. 5

Sam Quinn & Japan 10 The latest signee to Ramseur Records is actually an old friend of the label who used to ply his melancholic Americana under the Everybodyfields banner with Jill Andrews. They split to follow their own muses, and Quinn returns to battle with the oddly titled Japan 10 quartet. The music, however, remains familiar: the Johnson City native's quavering voice blended with Beatles-friendly melodies, multi-member harmonies, and old timey instrumentation. With Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside, and Justin Robinson and the Mary Annettes. Visulite Theatre (Schacht)

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