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Johnny Irion CD Release Irion's Neil Youngish (the early years) crooning and writing transcend genres. Although firmly grounded in American folk, Irion's music is rife with rootsy Americana that has passed, yet remains unconstrained in any specific era. The songs get an assist from his wife Sarah Lee Guthrie and weave the American experience of folk, country and rock. Irion is touring in support of his artisan-crafted new disc Ex Tempore, which oft shows there are times when all that's needed are an acoustic guitar, harmonica and vocals. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

Charlotte Music Awards The inaugural ceremony will honor Reflection Sound Studios, Arthur Smith and the Marshall Tucker Band, as well as featuring performances by The Sammies, Shameia, Dem Damn Twins, the Joe Davis Band and Mike Garrigan and Mark Kano. Ovens Auditorium (Hahne)


The Everybodyfields Sam Quinn and Jill Andrews front the Johnson City, TN band that's an amalgam of rock, folk and good ole country music. The duo is working its newest recording, Nothing is Okay, replete with tunes crafted with varied instrumentation including acoustic and electric guitars, lap steel, electric bass, and piano. The key here is the melding of two distinct vocalists that evoke everything from Patsy Cline to Wilco, somber ballads to perky country rockers. Visulite (Shukla)

A Stained Glass Romance Like some writhing beast from a sci-fi horror flick, the Statesville hardcore and metal quintet gargles body parts and spews out an unholy blast of sound oozing from the stacks of amps rattling under their own weight. Sheesh, don't plan on taking them home to momma. With Seneca, And Since Forgotten, & For Hope and Revenge. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

The Hellblinki Sextet This Asheville-by-way-of-Augusta troupe's clanking percussion, baritone sax, glock, violin and guitar mix is deeply indebted to Herr Tom Waits, a fact that bandleader Andrew Benjamin acknowledges. But that's a bit like saying Waits owes a debt to Brecht, Weil and Weimar Republic cabaret -- yeah, so? It's where you take your inspirations that matters, and THS's half-rock show/half-vaudeville act is its own beast. The follow-up to 2004's A Pirate Broadcast is allegedly near completion; hopefully Benjamin and his rotating cast will be previewing it. With Rollercoaster Pilot and Andy the Door Bum. Milestone (Schacht)

Watermelon Slim & the Workers Watermelon Slim, a.k.a. Bill Homans, grew up in our neck of the woods in North Carolina. Slim's raggedy and steely blues obviously emanate from someone's who's lived them, in Vietnam and as a long-haul truck driver rolling his rig all over the country. His newest album, The Wheel Man, shows that Slim can play scorching electric blues cranked in high gear as well as his seminal acoustic numbers. Double Door Inn (Shukla)


Veena Sahasrabuddhe Her Bhaktimala series of bhajans (Indian devotional music) displays a voice that is as adept in spiritual music as it is in performing Indian classical music. Her long history of recording and performing is a study in vocals mastery, tempered with subtleties requisite in singing demanding classical music. She started her musical training with Kathak dance, which has instilled the discipline of rhythm that accents her vocals. Shantilal Shah (tabla) and Kedar Naphade (harmonium) will accompany her. Show begins at 6 p.m. Tate Hall, CPCC (Shukla)

Trances Arc Trances Arc frontman Eric Toledo is one of those singers that, if you happen to like them, sings like the proverbial angel. If you don't, well, you might think they're overemoting like the devil. Truth is, it's probably a little bit of both in Toledo's case. He plays a splash of keyboards, but he's a capital-F Frontman, and has to account for his face time. As for the Arc sum total, they certainly sound signable, if sometimes unremarkable (to that end, they are featured on a Starbucks compilation available nationwide). They have a new record coming this fall, packed full of the power-chorded, tighly-wound emoindie they're known for. With Souldozer, Timbre Tambour. Milestone (Davis)


Rachel Yamagata The singer/songwriter caught buzz for her 2004 debut, Happenstance. She's been tagged with a label comparing her to Fiona Apple and Tori Amos, thanks to her piano-playing ways. Recently, she helped Mandy Moore pen a few tracks on her recent release, Wild Hope. She's currently working on her own sophomore album, expected early next year. The show will give her a chance to showcase new material. Opening for Moore. Amos' Southend (Hahne)

Tuesday, SEPT. 11

Elvis Costello His March '05 visit to Charlotte was memorable, a show front-loaded with classic Attractions' tunes and peppered with new material that fared pretty well. The only problem was the Grady Cole Center, a venue whose horrid sonics make echo-chambers sound clarion-clear. So, they've traded lousy acoustics for the sterile, drinks-free environment of Belk -- and with Costello joined only by Attractions' pianist Steve Nieve, this gig is bound to be a different animal. But my guess is that after one or two songs you won't give a shit; 30 years in and Costello is still a mesmerizing singer and performer. Belk Theatre (Schacht)

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