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WEDNESDAY 1.8

The Lowdown Travelers -- The side project of Lance Wille, perhaps better known in these parts for his work with the band The Unholy Trio (another UT member, Dave Gay, is doing his thing with the band Freakwater), the Lowdown Travelers bring the honk in an unfettered, old-fashioned style that nods its collective hat to the fathers of the style without becoming a nostalgia act. Worth checking out for the alt.inclined. Mojo Restaurant & Spirits (Davis)

Y'allternative Fest -- Big package bill here of some of the younger heavier bands in Charlotte, featuring Fall Too Far, the Amos' favorite Extra Medium, Gruv Union, the polished yowl of Ultracyde, and the more hardcore sound of Sckapegoat, who manage to sound pretty cool despite the sort of NuMetal name. Tomorrow night, Part II: Karma, 14 Feet Wide, Withstand, Etheric, Status Flow. Amos' Southend (Davis)

THURSDAY 1.9

Jason Ringenberg -- The tall cool drink of water known as Jason Ringenberg, the rubber-legged manic who fronts the roots act Jason and the Scorchers, is back from a series of hyper-successful Scorchers reunion shows, and in a solo mood. Frankly, the music is much the same, if quieter, though the sound is a little more polished a la classic country. Which is not surprising -- compared to the Scorchers, anything is polished. The Evening Muse (Davis)

Singer/Songwriter Round -- In which a trio of players take turns singing a song, backed by their own acoustic strumming, and the identical acoustic strumming of the other guys on stage, who are trying to figure out which chords are being played. This'n offers up John Thomas Griffith, who plays in the band Cowboy Mouth; Mark Bryan, (formerly?) of Hootie and the Blowfish; and Charlotte's own Nappy contribution to the proceedings, Lee McCorkle. Visulite Theatre (Davis)

FRIDAY 1.10

Cider -- Orlando's Cider is a blip on the modern rock radar that seems to be getting bigger. It's probably the polished Brit-influenced pop with clean, moody guitars, a sack full of hooks, harmony and suitable vocals. Look, you gotta give credit where it's due and they do have some pretty darn catchy tunes. They've got their hearts in the right place and that does matter on the way up the ladder of radioland. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

Jah Creation -- Wilmington's Jah Creation give off a vibe of authenticity with the first listen. The band members illustrate their "roots reggae veterans" expertise after years of playing in various reggae bands, including Carolina staples The Amateurs, Mystic Vibrations, Drummie Zeb and others. They also back up dancehall toasters such as General Top Rankin' and keep the island vibe flowing with constant touring while honing the dub-laced sounds with the requisite positive lyrical messages. In the end, it couldn't sound better if it came out of Kingston. Mojo Restaurant & Spirits (Shukla)

The Love Dogs -- An eight-member jump blues band that's sure to turn up the heat with their mix of rhythm and blues pumped up by horns and guitars. They've got shades of zydeco and Texas-swamp revelry mixed with tasty piano rolls and rollicking dance floor shenanigans. Mixing in some old time rock & roll further shapes the party atmosphere. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

SATURDAY 1.11

Big Bill Morganfield -- That last name on Big Bill Morganfield sound familiar? It oughta. He's the son of McKinley Morganfield, better known as (assuming announcer voice) Mr. Muddy Waters! Along with AJ Croce and Rufus Wainwright, he's one of the few second-generation songwriters who would still be worthy were they not knighted with their lofty surnames. He's influenced by his dad (who the hell isn't?), but he has his own distinct style, especially in his tastefully chorded guitar work -- figure more moan than howl. Double Door Inn (Davis)

David Childers -- Childers surpasses his peers in the Americana jungle with a multi-pronged approach. A road hardened poet, country rocker and gospel crooner rolled into one, Childers rocks your liver and then soothes it with poetic devices well into the night. The latest recorded output, Blessed In An Unusual Way, is Childers spewing out more of his patent caustic erudition and gospel truths. It's a typical Childers record where the mood can shift from a Film Noir soundtrack to a drive down a lonesome Carolina highway while the parched landscape kicks up mini-lyrical twisters. Sylvia Theater, York (Shukla)

MONDAY 1.13

Das Ich -- German Industrial duo released their 13th record last year and have been creating dark industrial music for as many years. It's guttural vocals, twisted guitars and keyboards mixed to sound like a brutal dogfight put out by a sandblaster. It's abrasive, yet musically cathartic. Those familiar with Skinny Puppy and the ilk will not be disappointed, while curious souls will be treated to an evening of electro shock to the brain cells. C'mon, what else you gonna do on a Monday night? Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

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