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George Strait -- He's had a record 50 #1 country hits. He's had 25 (!) platinum records. Consider that each one of those platinum discs represents a million sold -- many have gone multiplatinum -- and you have some idea of Strait's dominance over the Nashville country genre. Since breaking in about a quarter-century ago with a Jones/Twitty brand of traditional country imbued with just a dab of new-school production, Strait's the guy we have to thank (or curse, depending on your take) for folks like Randy Travis, Clint Black, Garth Brooks, and Alan Jackson. It's not really my can of Copenhagen, but it damn sure beats a Toby Keith record. Charlotte Coliseum (Davis)

KRS-One -- Any short list of the great hip-hop albums of the last 25 years should include at least three by Kris (KRS-One) Parker's Boogie Down Productions: Criminal Minded, By All Means Necessary, and Edutainment. While Parker has been erratic in both thought and recorded output as of late, he remains impossible to ignore. See our story in this issue. Amos' Southend Show cancelled after presstime (Davis)


Charlotte Tsunami Relief Project -- Several benefits have gelled locally to help raise funds for the survivors of the recent Tsunamis that devastated coastal areas of several countries in Asia. Pop-rocker Leisure McCorkle has turned his pre-scheduled gig into a fundraiser. Several bands have been added to the original schedule and will play short sets. The bands include Yates Dew and the Secret Knock, Fudd and the Moonshine Racers and others. Check the website for a complete list. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

Old School Freight Train -- OSFT, a 5-piece acoustic string band (fiddle, mandolin, guitar, bass, and banjo) from Charlottesville, VA, lay down an array of rootsy originals as well as traditional tunes and covers of Ellington and others. The lack of percussion doesn't dampen their perky bluegrass and the band recently signed to David Grisman's Acoustic Disc with a new recording slated for release in the spring. They've received a Grammy nomination and kudos at the Telluride and the Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Festivals. Tim O'Brien will play the early show. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys w/ Jim Lauderdale -- A walking, talking, singing legend, Dr. Ralph Stanley is -- along with Bill Monroe -- one of the two or three single most important performers in the history of the bluegrass. From his work with brother Carter in the Stanley Brothers to his late-period fame through his harrowing take on "O Death" in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Stanley has kept his touring schedule much as it always was: packed. A stroke a few years ago notwithstanding, the Good Doctor sounds as good -- as in, good and honest -- as ever. Appearing with Stanley is Jim Lauderdale, who made a fine (if slept-on) album of duets with Stanley a couple years back called Lost in the Lonesome Pines. Don't miss it. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

Snagglepuss -- The Charlotte rockers throw all their musical eclecticism into the pot with guitars screeching, sax moaning, bass booming and hips shaking to the max. Snagglepuss remain one of the most colorful outfits in the city and this gig is lead singer Hope Nicholls' 45th birthday shindig. Call it 45 caliber or 45 proof, whichever strikes your fancy, but call it a party night where Snagglepuss unleash their infectious brand of funk-punk-rock-dance. Openers include Winston-Salem's Shalini (featuring Shalini Chatteree and Mitch Easter) and Cockpit (members of 'puss, Baby Shaker, and Nacho Pussy). Jaymes Bullet will spin records. The Steeple Lounge (Shukla)

Tom Principato -- Tom's newest, House on Fire, is yet another showcase for the his slow-burn take on the electric blues. Much like his session work with folks like Albert Lee, Buddy Guy, and John Lee Hooker, his continued partnership with Jimmy Thackery, or his many solo albums, Principato is a hot-shit player with enough cool instincts to not floor the accelerator on every solo. House on Fire even has some Eastern, Latin, and Hindustan slide influences, which sound pretty authentic broadcast through Princi's trusty Seymour-Duncan pickups. Double Door Inn (Davis)


Whole Wheat Bread -- The black pop-punk trio from Jacksonville, FL, coined their muse "Dirty South Punk Rock." Their new record Minority Rules (Fighting Records) should be out toward end of the month and will feature 11 punk rock tracks along with three bonus tracks by WWB's hip-hop alter egos Nasty Nigga Fleetwood, DJ Dirtee Skeet and Mr. Whitefolks. Also on the bill this evening are In-V, Ultralush and Minamata. Milestone (Shukla)


Hot Tuna -- Hot Tuna began in 1970 as a side project of Jefferson Airplane members Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. The duo explores blues from all possible angles, but it's the acoustic guitar and bass blues that harks back to warm Delta blues and remains the duo's signature. Kaukonen's finger-picked fretwork is as effortless as breathing is for most people, and his unmistakable voice further enhances the necessary gruff of blues. This time they will be doing the usual acoustic thing as well as plugging into electric blues. Neighborhood Theatre (Shukla)

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