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CL previews upcoming shows


Hamilton Loomis Loomis' funk-loaded Texas blues has a definitive dance groove. The multi-instrumentalist has that road-worn sound after almost 15 years of recording and performing, while honing his chops with recognizable riffage. One of his mentors, the legendary Bo Diddley, appears on his most recent disc Ain't Just Temporary. The recording has a natural, unforced vibe, much like old-time blues recordings. Double Door Inn (Samir Shukla)


The Gourds If there was ever a band the fictional Dude in The Big Lebowski would like – hell, that the Coen Brothers would like – you'd have to think the Gourds would be in the running. An autodidactical, book-learnin' heavy mix of Tex-Mex, Zydeco, country soul, old school country and, well, good marijuana, these country-fried Castanedas' lyrical references are literally limitless. If it can be seen, or considered, or even dreamt, it's fair game. Just don't ask them to play their cover of "Gin and Juice." They did it first, yes, and did it well, for sure, but that drink's been long since watered down by "hip" acoustic dinner duos nationwide. With Shinyribs. The Visilute Theatre (Timothy C. Davis)

Jeff Black The Missouri native's dusty country-folk isn't averse to strolling into rock territory. Black is a fine singer/songwriter managing to stay on the top rungs of the genre with taut lyrics filled with imagery and wrapped in a blanket of haunting melodies. The songs are somber, but always have that silver lining shining through. Several of Black's songs were featured in the recent film Steel City. With The Near Misses. Evening Muse (Shukla)

Nile Speed or death metal can easily fall prey to the "it all sounds same" disease. But count these death metal specialists from South Caroline outside of that infliction. With just enough Egyptian mythology hewed into the bombast and musical experimentation, Nile has carved out a permanent spot in extreme metal territory. Their most recent recording, Ithyphallic, doesn't disappoint and blasts out of the gates with the opening track. With Suicide Silence, The Faceless, Unexpect and The Warbringer. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)


The Nighthawks For 25 years, The Nighthawks have performed ... and performed ... and performed. The DC-based road warriors usually play close to 300 club dates a year, all chockfull of the rocka-blues-soul-billy concoction which regulars still flock to like a 50-cent draft. Harpist Mark Wenner is still in charge, and while the lineup has changed around a bit the sound is as confident, unique and catchy as it's always been. Truth be told, when I think of the Double Door Inn, I think of these guys as something like the touring house band: There's not a whit of pretension, they run their band like a well-oiled machine, and they're guaranteed to put a smile on your face (or some sweat, at bare minimum). Double Door Inn (Davis)

Cinder Road Named after the street they practiced on back in high school, Maryland-born Cinder Road has been a long way from home performing on the Armed Forces Tour in places like Japan and South Korea. Producer Marti Frederiksen proved to be a dream-connection (with a resume that includes some of their own influences; Def Leppard, Ozzy Osbourne and Aerosmith) and helped release their debut album, Superhuman. Buck Wild (Chey Scott)


Tom Russell The veteran Russell is a storyteller, a title he's not particularly fond of but nevertheless stuck with. Lots of singer-songwriters claim that mantle, but Russell's actually done most of the stuff others have to fictionalize: He's sung in Vancouver's skid row strip clubs; had his songs recorded by Johnny Cash, Dave Alvin and Doug Sahm (among others); had his letters with Charles Bukowski published; written a mystery novel; and done time in both the bull and boxing rings. Needless to say, his songs are rich are in character. Evening Muse. (John Schacht)

Yardwork Typically one tries to avoid writing menus based on two songs, but when you hear something this promising guidelines get flung out the window, die get rolled, reputations get staked, all with giddy abandon. Comprised of former or current members of Calabi Yau, Control, Minority Party and Harvard, this band's declared mission is to bring punk band energy to a more acoustic pop/folk medium and, according to one Yardworker, "spread awesomeness and positivity around the globe." Hard to argue with that, even harder not to fall in lust with the sing-along urban field hollers that highlight these two cuts and recall – without aping – the (early) Akron/Family, Yeasayer and Megafaun vibe. With Pico Vs. Island Trees. Snug Harbor (Schacht)

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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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