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CL previews upcoming shows

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THURSDAY, MARCH 27

Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash The band not only received approval from the "Man in Black" himself, but his real son actually produced their first album. BSOJC's style is easy-listening-rockabilly and folk, with influences from Cash, of course. Songwriter Mark Stuart creates story-telling music reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen. Deluxe Motel and Wink Keziah open. Puckett's Farm Equipment (Chey Scott)

Barrel House Mamas It's all about Appalachian musical traditions when these women croon and perform country and folk with a breezy bluegrass foundation. The N.C.-based Mamas sing in gentle harmony with guitars, banjos, flute and even ukulele rounding out their take on mountain music. They are contemporary but wholly rooted in cultural ethos of the famed Appalachians. Double Door Inn (Samir Shukla)

BoDeans Formed in Waukesha, Wis., over two decades ago by vocalists and guitarists Sammy Llanas and Kurt Neumann, the BoDeans' roots-rock has always had a distinct pop lining. For their newest and eighth album, Still, they've teamed again with producer T-Bone Burnett and crafted a solid Americana recording with uncomplicated lyrics and confident harmonies stoked with moodier guitars. With GB Leighton. McGlohon Theater (Shukla)

FRIDAY, MARCH 28

Garaj Mahal Led by Fareed Haque, Garaj Mahal excels at funky jazz-rock. Haque handles the guitar, and occasionally the sitar, as if a third arm protrudes from his body. The combo takes world music detours into improv and danceable grooves that permeate the most dormant of brain cells. Haque has shared the bill, recording duties and compositional skill with numerous world music stalwarts while inhabiting the realm of jazz masters. The firepower in his fingers can leave the best rock guitar gods in the dust. Visulite (Shukla)

SATURDAY, MARCH 29

Vox Populi This posse out of the dark West Virginia hills started out as a spoken word outfit and now creates an unholy and eccentric blend stitched with spoken word, psychedelic dirges, ambient caresses and general noise wigouts. This exceptional evening of artists thriving on psychedelic experimentation and exploration also features Husky, Cashmere Blackout, and Red Cloud at Sundown. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

Kevin Gordon A graduate of the University of Iowa (where he studied poetry at the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop), Gordon never lost his first love, that of early rock 'n' roll as purveyed by Lewis, Berry, Cochran and Co. Keb' Go' is one of the few songwriters around that understands the maxim that sometimes a writer can say more with what he leaves out than with what he puts in. Poetic stuff, but not in a sensitive songwriter kind of way. Rather, in a "saying what needs to be said in the best and fewest words possible" kind of way. Shit – that's way too long to be a maxim. See how hard it is? With Jennifer Nicely, Nathan Angelo, The High & Mighties, The Proclivities. The Evening Muse (Timothy C. Davis)

Prabir & the Substitutes Richmond-based Prabir Mehta is a true believer in the power of power pop, whether to warm the heart, salve a damaged one or tax one with intoxicants and loose women (or men, one supposes, depending on your preference). That belief shows: There's nary a riff, chorus, or bridge that doesn't sound like its engineered to pop out of your speakers, grab a beer and insinuate itself into your iPod, slapping backs with the likes of Eels, Sloan or OK Go. As an added bonus, he does the best riff-hand windmills since one Peter Townshend. With Mike Strauss, Josh Burch. Snug Harbor (Davis)

SUNDAY, MARCH 30

Robert Earl Keen Dude is popular with country music fans, folk music fans, the college radio crowd, jam band fans, alt-country fans, soccer moms, shitkicker types, and Texas fetishists. Hell, dude even looks like The Dude, and he certainly still abides by a lot of people's math. Me? I never got it. He's not folky enough for folk, jammy enough for a jam band, or alternative enough for alt-country (whatever that is – R.I.P., No Depression). Granted, he is reasonably funny at times, yes, and he is a decent storyteller. Then again, I ain't lining up to go see Dane Cook anytime soon, either. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

MONDAY, MARCH 31

B.B. King The blues legend is still going strong at 82 years old. These days, he performs while seated, but he hasn't lost a bit of his talent, wit or charm. With more than 15,000 performances under his belt, it's amazing that he still tours – his "Farewell Tour" started in 2006. His most recent CD released was Live in February of this year. Belk Theatre (Jeff Hahne)

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