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WEDNESDAY July 25

Bruce hazel & Some volunteers As one of the Fence Lions' integral components, Hazel is used to ensemble playing. But this project -- which resulted in 2005's Between the Journey and the Destination -- is the proverbial pick-up game, with Hazel running point and directing the flow of the action no matter who's on the bandstand parquet with him. In this instance he's backed by a mix of players from Pyramid, Snagglepuss and those self-same Fence Lions, as well as the redoubtable vocal siren Carla Marsh. Jay Garrigan opens. Snug Harbor (Schacht)

Pierre Bensusan The master steel-string guitarist's 2005 (and latest) release, Altiplanos, is a fine primer to his DADGAD-tuned, world-without-borders style. Equal parts classical, Celtic, jazz and African and Brazilian influences, it's yet another in a long line of critical successes for the world-renowned Frenchman (Bensusan was born in Algeria, and it shows in the subtle texturing of his fretboard runs). Bensusan also cuts loose on vocals throughout the show, alternately in French or English as the song dictates. However, it's his guitar that inevitably sings the loudest. The Evening Muse (Davis)

THURSDAY July 26

Soja This quintet from the nation's capital caresses roots reggae with just enough rock to keep its guitars from falling prey to repetitive reggae chords. Taking its cues and obvious love of reggae from the likes of Burning Spear and Black Uhuru, Soja manages to keep the island beats warm. Visulite (Shukla)

FRIDAY July 27

Seven Mary Three Sure, this is no-frills alterna rock. Sure, they've been forever pegged as the poor man's Pearl Jam. Sure, they're easy to pick on. Music critics need some punching bags after a hard night's work. But to their credit, these blokes skew it up just enough to accent the rock in their roll. And that's that. Amos' Southend (Shukla)

Delta Moon Atlanta blues and roots combo Delta Moon now gets down to business as an all testosterone-laden quartet. They've honed the sound further with affecting dual slide guitars on the new CD, Clear Blue Flame. The loss of female vocalists hasn't altered their sound much. You'll still shake yer head and howl at the (Delta) moon. Sorry, can't keep a good pun down. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

Marah Appearing in a slightly stripped-down, four-on-the-floor version, the brothers Bielanko -- Serge and Dave -- still summon the same frantic rock & roll energy their larger ensemble usually does. Marah's homespun blend of soul, classic rock and twang is somehow as Philly as cheese-steaks and high murder rates, with a dash of early-Springsteen street-poet from the other side of the Turnpike mixed in. Their new album, Angels of Destruction, has been pushed back to January '08, but that doesn't mean the brothers won't be test-driving some of it tonight. The promising Willie Breeding opens at the late show. The Evening Muse (Schacht)

Michelle Malone & Bill Mallonee Both of the artists listed here have pounded the pavement around the South (and elsewhere) for years on end now. Both have been lauded by numerous press outlets, music industry types and fans for years, yet neither has scored much in the way of popular acclaim. Both have stellar track records, Mallonee with Vigilantes of Love, a great "lost" alt.country band, and Malone with her own Albert King-certified gutbucket blues. Both deserve better, but both probably won't ever stop doin' what they do just for a lack of money or fame. (Or both.) The Evening Muse (Davis)

SATURDAY July 28

Andy and the Jivers Charlotte's nine-piece ska and pop punk band Andy and the Jivers are not afraid to slow it down to the shuffled stroll of New Orleans-styled funeral horns. But hey, they kick right back into high gear and stomp the ska in your face and onto the dance floor. Also on the bill: Foxes That Fight, Tropic Culture, and Bums Lie. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

SUNDAY July 29

Hot Tuna No matter how many times you crank Hot Tuna's version of "Death Don't Have No Mercy," the eerie somberness will drape over you like a thick, woolen blanket. Hot Tuna's finger-picked acoustic blues, along with electric selections, still kicks ass after all these years. So what if all the fan favorites were recorded decades ago. Hot Tuna is American music at its best, where the duo, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, explore blues from all possible angles. McGlohon (Shukla)

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