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Kevn Kinney -- Kevn Kinney's new album, Broken Hearts and Auto Parts, continues to find the songwriter establishing himself as a solo artist through the detailed ruminations and tasteful guitar accompaniment he evidenced on his earlier solo releases, Down and Out Law, McDougal Blues and The Flower and the Knife. This time around, the songs are a bit more electric and midtempo, a nice middle ground between the stool-and-a-guitar stuff and the often unfocused rave-up of Drivin N Cryin. Broken also cuts down on all the big-name music guests featured on Flower, which were interesting but usually unnecessary. Should be a nice gig, as long as the fratboy contingent doesn't scream for "Fly Me Courageous" after every song. Visulite Theatre (Davis)

Sound Tribe Sector 9 -- Interesting jam-trance-fusion mix that works more often than not. More like Herbie Hancock than Phish, and not afraid of technology, STSN play what, to coin a phrase, I'd call Mantra Rock -- repetitive but groovy, and not a little bit hypnotic. Not much (if anything) in the way of lyrics, but how many jam bands since the Dead have written lyrics worth remembering anyway? (Phish, this means you.). Tremont Music Hall (Davis)


The Big Wu / Strangefolk -- The Big Wu have carved out a loyal audience for their good-time original R&B and psychedelic grooves with heaps of "anything goes" attitude and musical playfulness. The recently released record Live at the Fitzgerald Theatre (Oarfin) shows off the proper colors, and the occasional Grateful Dead cover is guaranteed to get the crowd on its feet. Strangefolk are a country-pop-folk outfit that's not bashful about poetry, pretty flowers and all those niceties as they wear the acoustic jam heritage proudly. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

Delbert McClinton -- Improbably, Delbert just won the Grammy for "Best Contemporary Blues Album" for his rekkid Nothing Personal. The man who inspired John Lennon to play harmonica is on a bit of a hot streak lately, recording Nothing Personal with vocalist Bekka Bramlett and Iris DeMent and members of Bonnie Raitt and Tom Petty's bands. Most importantly, he's still got that growl, though it ought to be interesting to see if Amos' can attract the older, wizened fans McClinton usually draws. Amos' Southend (Davis)

Tift Merritt & the Carbines -- Her work with the Two Dollar Pistols and the seamless music backdrops provided by the Carbines present a country music legend in the making. Many fans, including yours truly, are awaiting new material from Merritt as her sweet and sublime voice can be so old timey country that a few words will fill you with a gnawing feeling of longing. Euphoric Eulogy will open the show. The Evening Muse (Shukla)


The Bottle Rockets -- The rugged and garage rock influenced country music of the Bottle Rockets is just plain fun. They can shoot off blues without batting an eye, spin tales of a honky tonk life the next moment, and turned many heads last year with the release of an entire record of legendary songwriter Doug Sahm tunes, Songs of Sahm (Bloodshot). Leader Brian Henneman and the fellow Rockets take no prisoners when the booze starts pouring and the guitars start wailing. Neighborhood Theatre (Shukla)

Norman Blake -- Yet another person affected by the remarkable success of the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Blake's name has risen in popularity thanks to the various tours and special performances the flood of media attention to the whole phenomenon sprouted. Not that he needed it to fans of old-time and bluegrass music. The flatpicker is a legend in roots music circles, and has played with everyone from Johnny Cash to Steve Earle to Bob Dylan (on Bob's underrated Nashville Skyline record). Either way, don't miss the chance to catch Blake in much smaller confines than the upcoming "Down From The Mountain" tour coming to Cricket Arena later this year. CPCC Campus Green (Davis)


Chris Duarte -- If you're ever in the mood for a blazing Hendrix cover, especially "Hear My Train A Comin'," then just head on out to a Chris Duarte show. Sure, Duarte has the show-off attitude (muscle boy at the beach) when pummeling the strings, but that's a shirt he wears well as the potential dullness factor of a long blues set is smashed by fiery workouts on the guitar that leaves the listener mumbling, "Hell, yeah!" He can easily turn a genre-defining subtle lick into searing psychedelic rock that can send shivers down your spine. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

Eyes Adrift -- This show ought to sell itself, one would think. It features Curt Kirkwood (formerly of the Meat Puppets) on guitar and vocals, Krist Novoselic (formerly of Nirvana) on bass and vocals, and Bud Gaugh (formerly of Sublime) on drums. Sort of shrouded in secrecy (Novoselic is doing no interviews; Kirkwood's speaking cryptically), early word has it that the band hits upon a sort of dark sound. Then again, this early word probably heard it from some other guy's article, so there's really no telling. What there is to tell is that the band seems to really believe in this project, all are accomplished studs from good bands, Novoselic is said to sing a lot(!), and Charlotte's lucky enough to get one of their first shows ever. Good enough for me. Visulite Theatre (Davis)

Hatebreed / Converge -- Hardcore from the gurgling bowels of the earth, Hatebreed are some pissed off mofos spewing -- no, blasting out -- teeth grinding and incessant angry stuff. Converge (equal vision records) leave no stone unturned in their quest for righteous politicizing, with punishing vocals and guitars. Their like-minded comrades, God Forbid and Stalemate, round out the ear-bleeding evening. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

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