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CL previews upcoming shows 

Public Radio, Watermelon Slim

THURSDAY 6.7

The Infamous Stringdusters The Stringdusters' newgrass is better pegged as old-school, vocals wailing, banjo stompin', fiddle cryin' style of bluegrass. There are elements of folk and improv jamming to boot. The Nashville sextet's debut for NC-based Sugar Hill Records, Fork in the Road, is a fine addition to the storied textbook of this All-American musical form. With King Wilkie. Evening Muse (Shukla)

Public Radio Public Radio is a recent arrival to Charlotte's music scene. Led by principle songwriter Mark Mathis, Public Radio is a mix of piano-touched, acoustic and amped rock. The focus is on songwriting where Mathis and the crew build slow, moody tension in each song. Also on the bill: Unwed Sailor, Green, and Nicolette Emanuelle. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

FRIDAY 6.8

Sanchez Long-established Jamaican crooner Sanchez has 29 albums under his belt, which include a few gospel recordings along with a stack of secular roots reggae and dancehall outings. His gospel records are more R&B than reggae and while adorned with Sanchez' soulful voice, they are essentially renditions of spiritual songs touched with tropical beats. With L.U.S.T. Neighborhood Theatre (Shukla)

Tishamingo The slide guitar, ala Allman Brothers, hints at Tishamingo's wide-reaching southern rock and blues boogie. The Athens, Ga., quartet's third and newest recording, The Point, is more rocking than previous efforts. They've obviously gelled musically over the years where the parts naturally blend into the whole. There's lyrical rhythm in the words and The Band-influenced musical interplay. Visulite (Shukla)

Watermelon Slim This North Carolina-raised musician (born Bill Homans) ain't your typical white bluesman regurgitating the same tired tropes and licks. A Vietnam vet with several university degrees and membership in MENSA, he spent years as a blue-collar laborer including long stints driving big rigs across America. His blues are highlighted by lyrical and narrative twists far too rare in the genre, as well as impressive harp-blowing and National Steel chops that bind his music to the blues' swampy beginnings. But unlike many white blues giants -- Clapton and Vaughan, for starters -- the musicianship rides shotgun to the songs, and that's a rare gift these days. Double Door Inn (Schacht)

SATURDAY 6.9

The Two Man Gentleman Band Combining early jazz, old-time country and vaudevillian swing, the best-dressed two-man band (who will be performing as a trio) creates a sound of their own. Using an array of instruments including banjos, kazoos, foot percussion and a triangle, their songs cover topics from making a sandwich to the Titanic and Hindenberg disasters. Audience participation is sometimes requested. Oh yeah, and they give out free kazoos if you're enthusiastic enough. Evening Muse (Hahne)

MONDAY 6.11

Look Mexico We've got indie guitar pop. This Tallahassee-based band is like a cacophonous blend of American pop music, but there's a good bit of concise writing where the guitars and rhythm section bop along happily with the emoesque vocals. The quartet will play on the bill that also includes the bands Fake Problems and Timbre Tambour. Milestone (Shukla)

TUESDAY 6.12

Early Bird Blues w/ Robin Rogers and Her Hot Band Local blues belter Rogers has laid it down as well as anybody over the last decade or more, and shows no outward signs of slowing down. She's got a soulful voice that manages to be both honeyed and ruff-hewn all at once, she's a better-than-average harp player, and she's got the good sense to throw in a few well-placed traditional interpretations (she does a mean "Hesitation Blues") in with the original, secular/sacred stuff. Double Door Inn (Davis)

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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