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Swamp Cabbage, Ken Will Morton & the Wholly Ghosts - One might equate the festering fumes of Swamp Cabbage's moniker with the band's humid, backwoods, gumbo-fueled music reminiscent of fellow North Florida act Mofro. It's a sweltering, electrified roots sound with a New Orleans flair. Athens' Ken Will Morton has a great rock voice with a hard drinking/hard living creak in it, and an itinerant blues-rock heart leaking a trail of electric guitar licks. Evening Muse (Parker)

Trip Rogers CD Release : Rogers is a Charlotte-based singer/songwriter with a 20-year history of playing solo and as part of various bands. His latest solo CD, Stinger, brings together blues, folk and acoustic rock; Rogers' confident, cleanly picked guitar and lyrics reflect his blue-collar point of view. Neighborhood Theatre (Shukla)


Dishwalla - These modern hard rockers flew out of the gates a decade ago with the mega hit "Counting Blue Cars." Give the band props for weaving catchy rock and pop with mature lyrics. That puts them a step ahead of the horde of similar modern rockers. Amos' Southend (Shukla)
Little Charlie and the Nightcats : The tag team of Little Charlie Baty (guitar) and Rick Estrin (vocals, guitar, harmonica) gives the Nightcats their unique swing and jump-blues vibe. Baty is a fluent guitarist, and Estrin's innuendo-laden lyrics and harp playing are fleshed out by the band's piano rolls that slide in and out of the rhythm. The Sacramento combo, which has several fine records out on blues label Alligator Records, is an originator, not just some run-of-the mill band hopping aboard an already rolling train. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

Moth - Cincinnati natives Brad Stenz and Bob Gayol have kept Moth around in some form for more than 15 years. The band had a deal with Virgin, moved to NYC, and briefly included one-time GNR rhythm section Tommy Stinson and Josh Freese. Stenz is a talented songwriter, and the duo manages a sound that references acts ranging from the Afghan Whigs to XTC. Evening Muse (Late show). (Parker)

Willy Porter w/ Ashley Chambliss - Influenced by guitarists Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges, Porter's folk-pop singer/songwriter approach actually puts him more in the company of Josh Kelley and John Mayer. Porter's a fine player, and his rootsy jangle is endearing, if not particularly distinctive. Asheville-native Chambliss' bright, warm, girly voice recalls Julianna Hatfield working a plush, piano-rock vibe. Evening Muse (Early show). (Parker)

Rah Digga - New Jersey-bred Rah Digga can drop mad science. For real. She studied electrical engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip saw her with Da Outsidaz crew in the mid-90s and introduced her to Busta Rhymes, who invited her into his Flipmode Squad. Not as street as some popular female MCs, Digga nonetheless has a muscular flow and drops great battle rhymes. Sadly, her second solo disc, last year's Everything's a Story, disappeared almost as quickly as it was released. The Room (Parker)


Animal Aid '05 - Here's a fundraiser for a regional non-profit that rescues and connects animals with potential owners seeking pets. Area bands including Volatile Baby, Full Grown, Robin Rogers and the recently reunited Blind Dates have lined up to raise money for Animal Fund. For more details on the show and the organization go to Double Door Inn (Shukla)

The Doors of the 21st Century - Ah, the dilemma of catching a "reunion" of a much-loved band of yore. Luckily this lineup isn't just the cousin of the original guitarist resurrecting and whoring the name for financial gain. The Doors of the 21st Century features two original members (guitarist Robby Krieger and keyboardist Ray Manzarek : no word on why drummer John Densmore opted out) along with ex-Cult vocalist Ian Astbury wailing the late Jim Morrison's lyrics. Co-headliners? Um... the Yardbirds, featuring a couple of original members, but don't show up looking for Clapton, Beck or Page. Also on the bill: "21st century" versions of Vanilla Fudge and the Pat Travers Band. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Shukla)


The Tarbox Ramblers - The Ramblers' 45-inch stagecoach rims churn the dark Delta blues soil, digging through the collected slide guitar peat laid by Blind Willie Johnson, Mississippi Fred McDowell and R.L. Burnside. Backed by fiddle, stand-up bass and drums, singer and guitarist Michael Tarbox's approach is more traditional than the Black Keys or the White Stripes, and the band makes diversions into rootsy folk-driven blues. A terrific live act. Double Door Inn (Parker)

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