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THURSDAY, JULY 3

Will Dailey You've got a lot of cats out there plowing the gin joints with an acoustic guitar. He strums a fine guitar, but its Dailey's voice, akin to a trusty friend and confidante, giving him an edge over the masses. The Boston singer-songwriter and folk-rocker writes tunes that make you want to linger around the stage a bit, the bar be damned. He won the 2006 Boston Music Award for Best Male singer/songwriter, with good reason. With Joshua James. The Evening Muse (Samir Shukla)

Bill Kirchen A catalyst for helping meld country and rock, later Southern rock, Kirchen led the band of rock honky-tonkers Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen in the late '60s to mid '70s. Since then he has added his telecaster licks to numerous recordings and bands. The rockabilly, or better known as dieselbilly, king is a must-see for lovers of guitar and American rock lore. His last disc, Hammer of the Honky-Tonk Gods, is finely stitched with Western swing, rockabilly and country. Visulite (Shukla)

FRIDAY, JULY 4

Slick Rick London-born Rick The Ruler, recently pardoned by New York governor David Paterson for the attempted murder of his cousin way back in 1990 (he served five years total) and hassled by Homeland Security goons ever since (just because a guy says he's "the bomb" doesn't mean he's carrying one, fellers), is finally back doing what he does best – spinning half-speed, half-spoken rhymes owing equally to flair and flow. A huge influence on the Kanyes of the world, both in dress and delivery, Rick's unfortunately been fighting our country's labyrinthine immigration laws more often over the last decade than seen in what he'll tell you is his true home, the studio. Catch him while you can. Amos' Southend (Timothy C. Davis)

The Trouble Walkers The local side celebrates the release of their debut, Free Cowboy Hat, a raunchy slab of Gun Club hedonism, Blasters' riffs and Must've Been High-Supersuckers' twang that shows little respect for anything but the glorious excesses of rock 'n' roll. One national reviewer has praised it as "the least politically correct record of '08," and thank fucking God for that. What better way to toast our nation's birthday and the First Amendment than with some good ol' fashioned, back-to-basics American music? With Chocha Loca and 2013 Wolves. Snug Harbor (John Schacht)

Cute Is What We Aim For Born in the frozen tundra of Buffalo, N.Y., this power-pop quartet with a sentence for a name makes quirky pop that's warm and toasty around the edges, with a fluffy middle. The young band has been around about three years and has already made inroads into the much-crowded field of power pop bands. They are out touring the new release, Rotation. Also on the bill: Ace Enders, Danger Radio and Powerspace. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

SATURDAY, JULY 5

Lou Ford/Buschovski The Ford boys' music evidences a finely wrought, pared-down style of songwriting that's almost Carveresque (or at least Lish-like) in its spareness. Busch's swirling lyrical worlds are positively Pynchonian, vaguely conspiratorial and often overwhelming in their shit-stirrin' scope. Lou Ford's put out three records and an E.P. in the past dozen years. Busch has put out, well, none, officially, but I once got three different complete demo records from him in as many months. Point being, of course, that no matter how you arrive at your voice, you have to find your own road. (Just make sure it leads to Snug tonight.) Snug Harbor (Davis)

Bo Bice The former Idol runner-up is one of a handful to still be holding on to a record contract. Not a bad feat, considering who was recently dropped – winners Taylor Hicks and Ruben Studdard and runner-up Blake Lewis. Doesn't mean that Bice is that much better, but only that he's survived so far. He paved the way for Daughtry and whoever recently won ... can't remember his name. Oh, David Cook. Ha! Yeah, everyone else will likely forget soon, too. Bice is touring in support of his sophomore release, See the Light. Sorry, but he might be at 14:59 and counting ... Neighborhood Theatre (Jeff Hahne)

SUNDAY, JULY 6

Black Congo NC The locals have been steadily upping their benga-flavored game, recently welcoming reeds-man Brent Bagwell (Tenspeed, Project Bluebird) into the fold and adding a touch of Ethiopiques' soul to a sound that already included two guitars, synth bleats and blurps, looped vocal hollers and animal noises, and in their cut "So Long Seagull," one of the most massive, cathartic crescendos this side of Califone. Part of the as-billed Pleasurable Fest with Ear Pwr, Abe Vigoda, Kachina and Nat Baldwin (Dirty Projectors). Milestone (Schacht)

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