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WEDNESDAY 6.12

Songwriter Night -- Nice bill here, featuring ex-Lodestafarian Jeff Williams, who's now currently showcasing some of his best stuff yet since leaving the confines of a band; the fractured, weblike style and sanguine voice of Kate Felder; the multi-talented Mike Mitschele, doing the acoustic guitar thing this time around; and the Quixotic Jay Garrigan, now doing more of a garage thing (and rather well, as recent shows have proven). The Evening Muse (Davis)

THURSDAY 6.20

The Adams Duo -- Jonathan and Jennifer Adams are a duo who create chamber music with guitar and cello, respectively. The guitar playing is generally flawless and the cello adds the somber, warm touch. They perform Jonathan's original compositions, Beatles covers (an obvious one is "Eleanor Rigby"), as well as chamber music standards from Vivaldi, Eric Satie and others. It should be good to see them at a fine music venue over trying to hear them through the java-guzzling knobs at the local bookstore/cafe and arts events, where they often perform. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

FRIDAY 6.21

Dave Rhames & the Westchesters / Kevin Gordon -- Rhames must be a long lost kin of Merle Haggard, as the thick country music pours out of his skin faster than brewskies at an auto race track. He released the solid record, Beautiful Day, a couple years ago and should be poking around some fresh tuneage lit with outlaws, vagabonds and punk ethos. (Shukla) / Gordon's last one, Down to the Well, was one the first records in recent memory to effectively blend the Roots Trilogy (blues, rockabilly and country) and make it sound not only natural but essential. A graduate of the University of Iowa (where he studied poetry at the mega-prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop), Gordon never lost his first love, that of early rock & roll as purveyed by Lewis, Berry, Cochran and Co. Gordon's high-profile supporters do spring up on Well (including Lucinda Williams), but they never overshadow the fact that Gordon is the show (those who saw him at the Spread Your Wings benefit know what I'm talking about). Plus, if rock aesthete Keith Richards covers one of your songs, you know you're doing pretty alright all by your lonesome. Gordon will also appear with David Childers at the Evening Muse on Sunday. Puckett's Farm Equipment (Davis)

Lou Ford / Houston Bros. / The Talk -- Lou Ford recently did some shows with alt-country icon Alejandro Escovedo, culminating with a show in New York City's Mercury Lounge and a nice writeup by Jon Pareles in the New York Times. The band's been hanging in there through label problems and the like, simply doing what they do best: taking the stage every night, in NC and elsewhere (upcoming gigs are slated for Colorado and Nevada). The Houston Brothers, part Everly Brothers and part Sebadoh, continue to make waves with their easy-on-the-ears low-fi take on country balladry. The Talk have a new CD out soon, titled No, You Shut Up. It's typical Talk -- Steve Jones-like guitar muscle, strong Jeremy DeHart drumming, Justin Williams' punk-to-falsetto vocals and second helpings of Pixie-ish roller coaster melody. Worth looking for when it comes out. Tremont Music Hall (Davis)

Old Crow Medicine Show -- A killer Tennessee band espousing luscious old-timey tunes; tinny blues, screechy bluegrass and washboard country, the staple of forgotten old A.M. stations, are their credo. They wander back country dirt roads while the dust kicks up behind the beat-up pickup truck hauling their own musical misdeeds, heading in no particular direction except some place called American music. Fat City (Shukla)

SATURDAY 6.22

All Mighty Senators -- Baltimore's finest PhishPhunkers return, carried as ever by an irrepressible beat, a little Larry Graham-style bass, elastic vocals and some horny horns. The band pulls it off for the most part with Zappa-like aplomb, mixing R&B, metal, blues, funk and, strangely enough, folk. They do jam, technically, but they're cousins many times removed from standard-bearers like the Grateful Dead if one were to do a family tree of such things. With the always-fun Snagglepuss, the closest thing this town has to Earth, Wind, & Fire (and I mean that as a compliment). Visulite Theatre (Davis)

Carolina Gator Gumbo -- Cajun and creole music played Carolina style is the basic premise of this long-running Charlotte group. They've put together a nice new disc to bring more of the sound to the region, adding to the cassette release from a few years back. A CD release party is timed just right, as the heat of the incoming summer sizzles the landscape and the spices of Southwest Louisiana bring it all to our neck of the woods. Neighborhood Theatre (Shukla)

Peralta -- The local rockers are headed for Billboard Latin Music Showcase in Miami toward the end of this month. They've been plugging party rock with plenty of salsa and island flavors for years; here's hoping some "A&R" scout spots them this time for their long overdue props. This show should be a good warm-up; send 'em off with a pat on their backs. Midtown 51 (Shukla)

Queen City Blues Fest -- Outside of a new Quentin Tarantino flick, this is the best showing of 70s EZGlide soul-blues you're gonna get this year. You get Superfreak Rick James' (crack)piping-hot funk, the legendary (to me, anyway) Bobby Womack, who recorded the classic "Across 110th St.," Lakeside, who pumped the original pre-Coolio "Fantastic Voyage," naughty gal Millie Jackson, who sings like a hot summer breeze, and more (Lenny Williams, No Name Blues Band, Ann Nesby). Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Davis)

TUESDAY 6.25

Incubus -- I've been carrying a secret for a while, one I didn't dare divulge until recently, after a conversation I had at a bar. "You're gonna think this is cheesy," the person said, "but I kind of don't mind Incubus. I wouldn't buy the album, I don't think, but I kind of like them." I concurred, of course framing my admission with the caveat that "when you compare 'em with the other nu-metal bands, they sort of stand out." And they do. Ladies' man Brandon Boyd actually sings, Mike Einziger actually plays things like jangly little minor chords and harmonics, and the band even drops names like Uri Geller and Jacques Cousteau in their lyrics. Like Deftones, the band doesn't hide its unique, Californian influences, and the result is rather refreshing. Ahem... compared with other nu-metal bands, of course. With Phantom Planet, which features Jason Schwartzman from one of the greatest movies in recent memory, Rushmore. Cricket Arena (Davis) *

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