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CL previews upcoming concerts (April 13-19)



A TRIBUTE TO THE LOUVIN BROTHERS When Charlie Louvin passed away at 83 in January after a remarkable second act this decade, the curtain dropped on of one of country music's most overlooked yet influential acts. Charlie and his brother Ira — the hard-drinking yin to Charlie's mild-mannered yang — were one of country's best-selling acts in the late-'50s before Nashville turned its back on its roots. Ira died in a car wreck in '65, and the Louvins' might've forever faded into crate-digger cultdom had not successive generations of rock musicians — the Byrds, Elvis Costello, Uncle Tupelo, Beck and Neko Case among them — fallen for the brothers' unparalleled close harmony singing and gospel-flavored tales of sin and redemption. Charlie was grateful, and when recently asked what he thought of the annual Country Music Association awards, replied: "The CMA? Stands for Country My Ass." Featuring David Childers, The Loudermilks, The Parodi Kings, Jim Avett, Bill Noonan, and Jim Garrett. $8, all proceeds benefit Hospice and Palliative Care. Snug Harbor. (John Schacht)


THE OLD 97'S Last year's record, The Grand Theatre Volume One, the first in a two-volume series, is an all-around tidy affair for the Old 97's. Since the early '90s, the Texas band has melded power pop into their roots and country rock inlaid with heaping punk energy. The steely guitar riffs spin circles around taut, often witty, tales. They put on a smashing live show to boot. With Teddy Thompson. $20-$24. Visulite Theatre. (Samir Shukla)

ELIAH This Brooklyn-born, Charlotte-based artist strives to do it all. Writing, producing, singing, al in the name of soul. Bearing his heart of tracks that remind you of something you grew up on, Eliah lays it all out there from the loving and sincere, to the heartache and outright inspirational. Clearly influenced by luminaries like Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, you can tell he hopes to make people feel that same way. Climate Control accompany him. Jet Ultra Lounge. (Mike McCray)

THE WHIGS Stack the Whigs among killer rock trios — Nirvana, Husker Du, et al — and give 'em a permanent spot in the continuing story of the fertile music burb of Athens, Ga. The combo's new recording, In the Dark, spews hard rocking pop evolved over the past half decade. The Whigs build layered compositions that fold the volume into the farther reaches of the track. With Company of Thieves and gogoPilot. $14-$16. Neighborhood Theatre. (Shukla)


SMOKEY ROBINSON This space is hardly enough to scratch the surface of what Smokey Robinson has meant to music. From being part of Motown's first act, The Miracles, to having his touch set about a sound that's endured the decades since, he's truly a musical icon. Rarely do you get an opportunity to see a living legend, especially one who hasn't slowed down yet. $76.10-$98.15. Ovens Auditorium. (McCray)

JJ GREY & MOFRO JJ Grey has that laid-back blues-y groove in his swagger that you'd think is from somewhere swamp-ridden (Florida, in his case). So, what better way to soak up his tunes than by soaking up the rays and getting soaked at the same time. This is the first of a two-day Spring Festival being held. Slaid Cleaves is joining JJ, while Saturday is highlighted by Bloodkin and Lucero. $20 advance two-day tickets; $25 day of show. U.S. National Whitewater Center. (Jeff Hahne)

SIMPLIFIED Charlotte's Simplified has been riding high on the release of its last album, Elephant Sky, but that's only made fans clamor for more from the rock band. Fusing elements of the blues, reggae and pop into a hybrid all its own, Simplified will release its newest studio effort, Brighter Days, on this night. Get our thoughts in Hit & Run Reviews this week. With Ruston Kelly. $12-$15. 8 p.m. Visulite Theatre. (Hahne)

SAVE CHARLOTTE MUSIC BENEFIT Sponsored by Shuffle Magazine, this benefit show will have bands nearly as diverse as the local music scene in its entirety. The lineup includes Yardwork, Sea of Cortez, The Houston Brothers, Secondhand Stories, Pullman Strike and Andy the Doorbum. It's not easy to find that kind of talent all under one roof, unless that roof is Charlotte. $5 donation; $12 includes T-shirt. 9 p.m. Neighborhood Theatre. (Hahne)


THE DIRTY HEADS A mix of acoustic folk, hip-hop and reggae, the Dirty Heads' vibe can take awhile to soak in. Channeling a surfer and stoner dude aura, with a pervasive reggae undertone in most songs, they're still a bit raw and testing musical waters. Guitar god Slash lends his screaming six strings to their track "Check the Level." Also on the bill are New Politics and Bums Lie. $13-$15. Amos' Southend. (Shukla)

DAVID LIEBE HART It's hard to know whether singer/musician/ventriloquist David Liebe Hart is crazy — or a damned genius. On one hand, the guy managed to make the jump from struggling/street artist/public access TV show host to a steady singer/comedian role on the Cartoon Network's hit program Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job. That exposure allowed him to tour the nation, performing his bizarre original songs with fellow musician Adam Papagan. But, on the other hand, the dude is totally convinced he was abducted by aliens — going so far as to claim that he's had romantic liaisons with extra-terrestrials. He even sings about off-worlders (like on his trademarked song "Salame.") That said, the guy's got waaayyy more money and fame than me ... so maybe he's the lunatic we're all looking for. With Hunx and His Punx, Shannon and the Clams, The '97 Bulls. $10. The Milestone. (Carlton Hargro)


GURF MORLIX Best-known as the guitarist (and producer) on Lucinda Williams' best records, Morlix is a session player who may be the Americana equivalent of Marc Ribot — a six-stringer whose gifted playing eschews gaudy and flashy to serve the song first. His solo material, including his latest, a covers' tribute to little-known Austin ne'er-do-well and Morlix pal Blaze Foley (who was murdered at age 39), doesn't dazzle so much as cumulatively impress. Like his fellow Austinite Jon Dee Graham, Morlix is deserving of a larger audience. $15. The Evening Muse. (John Schacht)

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