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FRIDAY 5.10

Bellglide / Evoka Project -- A seasoned crew of musicians, borrowed from the defunct Laburnum, form the slo-mo, Brit pop influenced sounds of Bellglide. Female vocals add understated layers and a moody vibe to the cascading guitar work. The resonance is inviting and the live shows help the sound bloom as eclectic interplay is further explored on stage. It all makes for a heady recent addition to the city's cool rock combos. / The Evoka Project are rock stars in the making. The Smiths' intonations with atmospheric rock, a la U2, and a colorful frontman make them front runners for radioland. A nice new-rock double bill. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)Blue String -- Rock band from Athens, GA, brings groovy and melodic music with peppy, soulful bits of bluegrass and twang thrown into the slow-cooking broth. The initial notes invariably signal a jam band, but don't write them off to the masses, as eclectic takes on percussion and strings keep things rather interesting. The latest recording, Overthinking, stirs it up just enough to keep the jam from tasting too thin. Fab newgrass outfit Cast Iron Filter will headline a show that promises to be a mellow and feel-good gig. Amos' Southend (Shukla)David Childers Band -- Equal parts Traveling Salvation Show and snake oil salesmen, the David Childers Band comes hurtling out of Mount Holly once again to set fire to the Muse. Lyrically caught in a magnetic pull between heaven and hell, Childers' best work stays on solid ground right here in the middle with the rest of us confused souls. Childers' newest, Blessed In An Unusual Way, is a stone-cold stunner of an album, and he's cast aside any genre-based chains that his last, A Good Way To Die, didn't take care of. With Darlyne Cain. The Evening Muse (Davis)

Jim Lauderdale Band -- Jim is releasing not one but two solid records during the first week of May. First up is the solo The Hummingbirds and the other is a record with the legendary Ralph Stanley called Lost in the Lonesome Pines. Lauderdale's drawl and writing perk up his brand of traditional country music and top-notch bluegrass. The new record showcases a slew of genre regulars and the result is refreshingly contemporary while the latter is so achingly old timey as to bring back memories of country stations on AM dials of yore. Neighborhood Theatre (Shukla)

Tobacco Trailer Blues -- TTB play a "trends be damned" flavor of rock, driven on Southern highways and byways, now mostly relegated to classic rock stations. The bluesy licks, strong vocals and proper rhythm section, giving nods to country stalwarts Merle Haggard et al, give their brand of Southern rock the requisite country feel. Tombstone Daddys are also slated to play. Puckett's Farm Equipment (Shukla)SATURDAY 5.11

Bernie Worrell & The WOO Warriors -- From the Juliard School of Music to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. From Parliament to Funkadelic. From the Talking Heads to Snoop Dogg. From rock to funk to hip-hop, from classical to gospel to jazz to avant-garde, Bernie Worrell has covered the bases. For the last several years, he's been helping other musicians with their projects, but now he has his own band, and the WOO Warriors have a new CD, True DAT. For the show and the CD, you can expect a lot of your favorite P-Funk jams like "Red Hot Mama" and "Cosmic Slop," as well as songs from Bernie's excellent solo records. And they'll cover all the styles listed above, with an emphasis on the funk, so there'll be something for everybody. Visulite Theatre (Brian Falk)

Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials -- If you dig blues doled out with a sneer and in-your-face slide guitar work, Lil' Ed provides the goods. His posse adds resplendent pounding to the six string menace and the band hark back to the old "no holds barred" Chicago blues that spoke volumes with just a couple of shakes up and down the frets. Lil' Ed opts for a feeling of the first shot of rotgut oft repeated over the evening. With so many dull blues records clogging the record store racks, the likes of Lil' Ed keep the torch burning. Double Door Inn (Shukla)WEDNESDAY 5.15

Dixie Witch -- The kind of band those guys on stonerrock.com get their bongs in a wad over, Dixie Witch is a Texas-based power trio. And I do mean power trio: double bass drums, triple-pickup Les Pauls, and sac-rattling bass. Drummer/vocalist Trinidad Leal controls the show from behind the kit -- no mean feat, considering the relative intricacy of his playing. Heavy blooze is the key here, with nods to Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and 13th Floor Elevators. With Immortal Lee County Killers. Fat City (Davis)

Malcolm Holcombe / Valorie Miller -- 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. Miller's an amazing singer in her own right -- with any luck, they won't be making the trip from Asheville in a late-model car for much longer. The Evening Muse (Davis)

The Noise -- Nice, muscular James-Gang-if-they-went-punk stuff here, courtesy of local fixture Bruce Hazel, who does a nice job of channeling his angst into a sort of wry, Elvis Costello-type commentary. Eschewing for the most part any semblance of country ('cept for the odd, twangy lead), Hazel and Co. still sound pretty damn pissed off on record -- the first two songs on the demo I received concern kicking someone's ass. Seeing as Hazel clocks in at well over 6 feet tall, I'm sure as hell not going to say anything bad about it -- not that I would anyway. This is rough-hewn, but damn good new stuff, joining Semi-Pro, The Talk and Black Lagoon as purveyors of the new sound of Charlotte -- plain 'ol rawk for the sake of... er... rawking. With Men of Leisure. 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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