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CL previews upcoming shows

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 28

Secondhand Stories If it seems strange to suggest that Stephen Warwick is one of the city's most underappreciated performers/songwriters, that's more a testament to how good his impeccable indie/folk/blues hybrid is than a comment on the average music fan's unfamiliarity. No shit, there's something here for everyone, from singer-songwriter fans and indie aficionados to lap-top folkers and Americana tweakers. While we await what is pretty much a lock to be a sparkling debut (www.myspace.com/secondhandstories, folks), Charlotte makes due with Warwick and company's engaging live show. With Reed KD. Evening Muse. (John Schacht)

 

THURSDAY, MAY 29

James Taylor You've got a friend that's gone to Carolina in my mind. He's seen fire and he's seen rain. He thinks it's really sweet to be loved by you and thinks there's something in the way she moves ... need I say more? You know there will be plenty of hits when the legendary, Chapel-Hill-raised, folk singer performs. He plans on releasing an album of mostly soul covers this fall, so maybe you'll hear some of that, too. (Jeff Hahne)

FRIDAY, MAY 30

Jose Conde y Ola Fresca Straight outta Brooklyn's Latin alleys, Conde and his crew roam the streets from Cuba to Puerto Rico to Haiti and back up to N.Y.C. with a sinewy mix of Afro-Latin rhythms and roots grooves. Their sultry dance beats will get a party kicking faster than a shot of rum, with percussive interplay thick with tropical heat. The band is on the road pumping their freshly released disc called Revolucion. Neighborhood Theatre (Samir Shukla)

Sin Ropas Tim Hurley and Danni Iosello literally make beautiful music together. The husband-and-wife team behind the moonshine-pure, lovingly languid Sin Ropas ably mixes the steel-string, Appalachian sturm und drang of their adopted mountain town with a heady dose of some Mississippi-by-way-of-Chicago honk blues. If you've ever been to Marshall, N.C., you know it as a town where the past still walks and the ghosts haunt, despite having not yet been extracted from their mortal coils. Hurley, formerly of the seminal Red Red Meat – and like his former bandmate Tim Rutili of Califone – loves the high lonesome sound, and it sure don't come any higher or lonesomer than Marshall. Highly recommended. With Blake/e/e/e. Snug Harbor (Timothy C. Davis)

Earl Greyhound A power trio that looks like a mutant mix of Erykah Badu, Buddy Miles and Edgar Winter, Earl Greyhound's sound, interestingly enough, isn't all that far off from what that inveterate trio might sound like, either. Formed by songwriters Matt Whyte (guitar) and Kamara Thomas (bass) in 2002 in New York City, the pair soon – with some help from their homies The Roots – nabbed Gold Crowns drummer Ricc Sheridan, fomenting the band's New York-cast, red-white-and-blues sound. The band's debut, Soft Targets, was released in 2006, and the band soon began touring with artists as disparate as Chris Cornell and Shooter Jennings. This particular Greyhound travels better than both those acts as of late, although their magic bus can still get stuck in a nostalgia rut from time to time. With The Parlor Mob. Visulite (Davis)

SATURDAY, MAY 31

Black Ritual CD Release Black Ritual has been grinding out an unholy mélange of thrash, hardcore and metal for a couple of years. With loads of Rat-a-tat guitars, throat lacerating vocals, and booming rhythm, the boys can scrap with the best headbangers out there. The Charlotte-based band is releasing the debut noisefest 1000 Yard Stare this evening with a little help from fellow noisemakers War from Brotherhood, Force-feed Fists, and A Road Eternal. Amos Southend. (Shukla)

Schooner Simple but effective indie pop in keeping with this act's Carrboro pedigree; smart, sunny melodies and buoyant boy-girl harmonies undercut with beaucoup cynicism (check the Stephen Merritt-meets-Julee Cruise darkness of "Pray For You to Die" from last year's Hold On Too Tight). Front man Reid Johnson's deadpan delivery transmits these weary narratives of love and life gone askew, and the band occasionally sound like self-flagellating penitents forced to trudge along behind. Schooner's at their best when the music is sunny (even if the lyrics ain't), which is why they tend to shine brighter live. Opening for The Old Ceremony and North Elementary. Snug Harbor (Schacht)

SUNDAY, JUNE 1

Sons of Roswell You'd think the Sons of Roswell were around in the late '60s through the '70s with their neatly classic blues-rock tunes. But the quartet from Muscle Shoals, Ala., has been together for a few years this decade and take cues from CCR to The Black Crowes with stripped down, blues-stoked rock. Vocalist Kevin Keenum has that rock-star voice that will sing in rock venues for many years to come, with due perseverance, of course. With The Broken Strings. Snug Harbor (Shukla)

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