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Col. Bruce Hampton & the Code Talkers Atlanta's Hampton is a long-running staple in the Southern and national jam scene. Those familiar with him don't need an introduction, while the uninitiated will be treated to classic blues rock sounds - a la Allmans and the Dead -- laced with eclectic, jazzy jams. The rustic and timeworn signatures of the Colonel ooze like molasses and, along with the red hot Code Talkers, introduce them to newborn believers on a regular basis. Friday, Mojo's. -- SS

David Childers Band Mt. Holly's Childers continues his war with the Dark Side (often himself) with a duality that Prince himself would be proud of. Lucky for us, we get to see his exorcisms every month or so. Pounding out rootsy hellhound rhythms on his guitar with bandmate Eric Lovell deftly adding spooky texture via sitar and melodica, he's not so much original as simply unclassifiable. The one thing he is, however, is totally authentic -- and that's much better than either of the other two. With Winston-Salem's Fur-Lined Volcanoes, a sort of equally eclectic trio with a surprising earnestness to their sound, unlike most out there playing what's termed "Americana." Saturday, The Evening Muse. -- TD

Debbie Davies If there's one genre that's testosterone dominated, it's the blues. Debbie sways the rafters of this mostly all-boy club with a voice that doesn't howl but gets the message across nicely. Her guitar doesn't blaze but emotes genuine sorrow that's a requisite to convincingly perform blues, and she has enough of the stuff in her blood to keep the boys at bay with a stylistic twist. Her most recent release Love the Game (Shanachie), reliably produced by Duke Robillard (who also lent his guitar on a few tracks), is solid from front to back. Saturday, Double Door Inn. -- SS

Eleven Foot Seven Here's a pop trio swirling many styles -- rock, soul, funk -- for a head-contorting sound. The shows are packed with groove, licks and funky interplay of the instruments. It's a wonder they're not on a major label racking up the hits. Their recent recording, Pacify My Head, is now available from your favorite local record peddler. Saturday, Visulite Theatre. -- SS

Malcolm Holcombe Enigmatic Holcombe's voice is a scratchy approximation of Tom Waits, and his songs aren't that far removed from ol' Tommy the Cat either. Holcombe plays a sort of Southern gothic version of the diner blues here, and the result is no less authentic. Holcombe was signed to Geffen for awhile, but the suits there thought he was a liability and dropped him. Lucky him, as he released the canned A Hundred Lies on Hip-O Records, where it has sold steadily (if slowly) ever since. Recommended. With Valerie Miller. Saturday, Comet Grill. -- TD

Greg Klyma Talky Buffalo roots musician who's equal parts Steve Earle (if he did acid instead or crack), Jerry Jeff Walker and early Badfinger. A nice enough guy -- the harder-edge stuff appeals to me a bit more -- but it's all pretty devoid of unnecessary gloss. He'll never make it big, but he'll always have a living, as they say. One imagines that's good enough. With Mary Gauthier. Tuesday, Double Door. -- TD

Christy Snow Christy is a Charlotte-based singer-songwriter who digs deeper in the trenches of over-crowded folkies with every performance. She croons her stories with help of acoustic guitar, harmonica and thick yet insightful vocals. The delivery is sparse but always strong enough to keep your head turning her way while sipping that java. Thursday, Garbo's. -- SS

Southern Culture On The Skids Liquored Up and Lacquered Down, SCOTS' newest CD, is as good a description as I've heard for the grease-fried live shows the band puts on. And while the shows' inevitable antics are a bit more sterile now than in the past (throw fried chicken at an audience on a regular basis and you tend to get a reputation for it), the music certainly isn't. Liquored Up is the band's best in a while, a solid shot of corn(y) liquor that won't fail to loosen your inhibitions (or your pants, depending on how long you stay). With The Clones. Friday, Tremont Music Hall. -- TD

Trans Am Chicago's Thrill Jockey label has spread the avant garde and experimental gospel with a slew of fab releases over the past few years. So when Trans Am appeared on the radar, the parameters were set and displayed, wrongly, that they were of the same ilk. This trio takes the chapters of that label's atmospherics scene and adds some serious guitar pyrotechnics. The band tip their collective hats to everything from Kraftwerk and African drumming to straight-on rock assaults. They're nouveau new wave of the sound weaver crowd, if you will. Openers Rye Coalition pummel and stab ya in the back with stark doses of ugly punk rock. The Oxes are also on the bill. Tuesday, Fat City. -- SS

Doc Watson A true North Carolina treasure, Deep Gap, NC's Watson has seen a career trajectory (he would probably flinch at that phrase, and rightfully so) no less important to the history of American music than musical Mt. Rushmore figures like Robert Johnson or John Coltrane. His influence on flatpicking guitar is immense, and he was an inspiration to any folk artist who ever picked a tune post-1960. His is a virtual songbook of American music styles, incorporating blues and country, even R&B, long before such things were widely accepted. And unlike some other artists of his age group (Dr. Ralph Stanley comes to mind, God bless him), Watson's skills don't seem to have eroded in any noticeable way. In fact, Doc seems more energetic than ever, always handy with a story (often a little history lesson of American music), and has lately even thrown in the odd Bill Clinton impersonation (actually quite good, if you're wondering). With Richard Watson and Jack Lawrence. Saturday, Neighborhood Theatre. -- TD*

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