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THURSDAY 5.6
Dromedary & Jonathan Byrd CD Release -- Andrew Reissiger and Rob McMaken, the duo known as Dromedary, evoke images of faraway lands using acoustic instruments such as mandolin, classical guitar and charango. You've probably heard bits of their flowing sound on NPR, and Jonathan Byrd is a rising star on the singer/songwriter front. The trio have joined forces for a recording called The Sea and the Sky, a series of themed songs written by Byrd to which Dromedary add Appalachian springtime revelry and musical voyages to worldly ports of call. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

John Hiatt -- It's been 30 years since his debut, and Hiatt has label hopped aplenty during his career. But he always delivers swell recordings, whether as a solo performer or with his great back-up band, the Goners. Hiatt writes tunes as easily as most folks breathe, and they range from raucous country-rock to steaming blues. There's no new recording since last year's Beneath This Gruff Exterior with the Goners, but he has an endless reservoir of distinct tales. His songs have been covered by more artists than just about anybody but the biggies (Dylan, the Beatles), including everyone from Paula Abdul and the Everly Brothers to Iggy Pop and Conway Twitty. Neighborhood Theatre (Shukla)

FRIDAY 5.7
Hisham Sawami -- Twenty-five-year-old Arab-American DJ Hisham Samawi may reside in New York, but it's his international background -- born in Libya, raised in Switzerland, Australia resident -- that puts the real beat in his sets. The diversity of sounds he blends together -- house, electro, breaks, banging drum beats and big bass lines -- reflects that world music flavor. Tonic (Schacht)

Ronnie Baker Brooks -- Son of Chicago blues legend Lonnie Brooks, RB Brooks spent more than a dozen years as lead guitarist and bandleader in his father's band before making the switch to full-time solo status with 1999's Golddigger. The fleet-fingered guitarist has since released Take Me Witcha on Watchdog Records, which is available at his live shows and on his website. Like his formidable Pa, Brooks is known for his rave-up take on electric blues, but isn't averse to throwing in a Hendrix song (or six) into his live-wire set. Double Door Inn (Davis)

Snagglepuss -- They don't play shows every other week, as they all spend time with myriad other interests (their own bands, clothing stores, web designing). They're not searching for a major label, and they don't really give two shakes what the hot new sound is. Don't sleep on them, however. Hope Nicholls and Aaron Pitkin and John Morris and Amy Kennemore (and so on) still make some of the most dance-friendly music in town, a kaleidoscopic twirl of sound that works just fine even if you're more of the wallflower variety. With the 'Puss are Vinyl Are My Pants, who are also well worth checking out (think Blonde Redhead with a 'lil more funk in the trunk). The Room (Davis)

SATURDAY 5.8
Dawn Kinnard -- Ms. Kinnard's hauntingly honest 8-song debut garnered rave reviews from both rock and country critics, and recent demos suggest that her atmospheric, country-tinged melodies are growing even more unique. The Pennsylvania native is flying solo this show, with perhaps one band member chipping in a few accents here and there. With Nicole Atkins and Jen Foster. The Evening Muse (Schacht)

The Soul of John Black -- Former Fishbone multi-instrumentalist John Bigham and bassist/ programmer Chris Thomas are not only the Soul of John Black, but also the body. Forgoing the usual R&B formula for Kravitz-style melody and a minimalist rock back beat, TSOJB manage to reference everything from acoustic blues to Stevie Wonder's spiraling take on black gospel tradition in their songs, which often veer wildly from one track to the next. On record, the band can sound a little tame, reined in by ProTools and their own Soul searching for a marketable single. It is said the band is best experienced live, however, which would seem to work for everyone save the eponymous Mr. Black. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

EYEDEA & ABILITIES -- Eyedea has probably written more about the Self than anyone since Carl Jung: self-deprecation, his own self-consciousness, and the idea of self-suffiency. His partner's Abilities are pretty impressive too: kinetic, minimalist-inspired beats, jazzy flourishes, and a very liquid style on the wheels of steel. The Room. (Davis)

SUNDAY 5.9
Los Amigos Invisibles -- It's probably safe to assume you've never seen anything like this band before. It's a Latin dance band from Venezuela, but by way of Studio 54 and the P-Funk Mothership. While so many Latin artists were caught up in the combination of salsa and meringue with techno, Los Amigos Invisibles discovered those rhythms go just as well with disco and funk (and they play their own instruments, too). It's a fun mix, one that'll have you dancing no matter what style you prefer. Local Latin rock band La Rua, also distinct in these parts, opens. Visulite Theatre (Brian Falk)

TUESDAY 5.11
The Flatlanders -- The band's new-ish Wheels of Fortune is yet another Austin Traveling Wilburys-style slice of singer-songwriter heaven, a three-headed monster -- Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock -- of rock, folk and desert blues that is a Texas toast to the land that gave them their name. After meeting up in the early 70s and finding no one interested in their earnest amalgam of styles, they each went off on their own solo careers. After varying degrees of success -- Ely and Gilmore more so than Hancock, at least in a popular sense -- the trio returned to the studio in 2002 and cut Now Again, before taking off on an 80-show tour. Wheels is more of the same, equally divided among the three, and holds up at least as well as any other roots act with a trio of lyricists. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

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