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Hot Licks in the Summertime

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A loping beat, drum thunder, a chorus of twangy and soulful voices, ragged feedback, rattling gourds and amplified, metallic ax power -- these sounds and more will set the tone at the summer's hot-ticket Verizon Amphitheatre lineup starring the Black Crowes, Robert Randolph and the Drive-By Truckers.

The Crowes, originally from Atlanta, have purveyed a fine fusion of distinctly Southern roots and psych-rock since back in the day, when the Dirty South was embryonic. Known for songs such as "She Talks to Angels," "Remedy" and a scorching cover of Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle," the Crowes celebrated "15 years of cosmic rock & roll" at NYC's Madison Square Garden this past New Year's Eve. Long since the band's initial hits faded from radio and MTV's prime time, the sextet, fronted by Chris and Rich Robinson, has reinvented itself on the road, through continued immersion in the deeper archives of Americana. Coming on the heels of the Robinson brothers' acoustic duo tour, the Black Crowes is now undertaking a nine-week summer trek in the company of pedal-steel phenom Randolph and raggedy rockers DBT. The show comes to Charlotte on July 11.

Alabama's Drive-By Truckers, partly based in Athens, GA, has been on a roll since the release of its fourth album, 2001's Southern Rock Opera. Robert Randolph, who'll be accompanied by his (mostly literal) Family Band on this run, is the relative novice of the bunch. He will bring much-needed color and spirit-steeped music tradition, as his Grady Cole Center date showed last month.

Black Crowes, Robert Randolph and the DBT rock Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Tuesday, July 11, at 7pm. Tickets are $23.50--$38.50, Go to www.ticketmaster.com.

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