David LaMotte - There's no overt preachy singing or posing with singer/songwriter LaMotte. What you get is well-written and melodic acoustic folk that hints of the moods of his Western North Carolina base. There are forays into rock on some tunes but it's mostly LaMotte telling kind and gentle tales while plucking his guitar. The title track of his quite pleasant recording Spin sounds like a contemporary take on some old Harry Chapin tune. The Evening Muse (Shukla)
John Popper Project - JPP features John Popper (Blues Traveler) on vocals and harmonica, DJ Logic, Tad Kinchla (Blues Traveler) on bass and Marcus Bleecker (Mosaic) on the drums. It's a spiffy concoction of avant garde jamming with the added flavor of DJ Logic's forward-thinking spinning. Govt. Mule opens. Grady Cole Center (Shukla)
BeauSoleil - Still the yardstick by which all Cajun bands are measured, fiddler extraordinaire Michael Doucet's group has been going strong now for three decades. Dedicated at first to preserving the once-dying Cajun music legacy, over the years the group has proven itself an innovator in the field, too, expanding the music's traditional borders to include everything from country to jazz and the blues. With Dromedary. Neighborhood Theatre (Schacht)
Don Dixon - Dixon's been busy of late, resurrecting 80s regional faves, The Arrogance, and remastering their five albums, recording a new solo album (The Entire Combustible World In One Small Room), and playing with old cronies Chris Stamey and Mitch Easter. Dixon's an underrated songwriter who coaxes his gruff baritone through classic pop melodies with clever wordplay, but he's best known for producing the first two R.E.M. albums with Easter, ushering in the Southern pop renaissance of the 80s. Also playing Saturday at the Double Door Inn. Sylvia Theater (Parker)
Jimmy Thackery & the Drivers - A semi-regular on his annual visit to the venerable Double Door, Thackery's live shows are marathon-like, the Drivers urging on the guitar virtuoso with a back-beat varied enough to cover old school blues and more rock-oriented numbers. Thackery earned his stripes playing with the indomitable Nighthawks for 20 years. Double Door (Schacht)
Dropsonic - Atlanta's power trio has been poised to break through for most of their decade-long career, but for the vagaries of the fickle music industry. Not for lack of talent, certainly, as even a cursory listen to their records, including their latest, Insects With Angel Wings, suggests; fat hooks, big chops, a singer who channels Thom Yorke, and a pulsing sound located somewhere between Mission of Burma, Led Zeppelin and Interpol. With The Situationals. The Room (Schacht)
Johnny Cash Tribute - Saluting the Man In Black at the second annual Cash Bash will be Jem Cross & the Hypertonics, The Bo-Stevens & The Screamin' Eldorados. Puckett's Farm Equipment (Schacht)
Agnostic Front - One of the east coast hardcore's forefathers, Agnostic Front were a powerhouse of classic four-on-the-floor full-moshing fury before sliding into a dumb metal mood during the late 80s and early 90s. Post-millennium, they went back to hardcore, where they shine as a right coast answer to 7 Seconds, a thundering roar of jackhammer rhythms and anti-authority sentiments. Tremont (Parker).
Martin Sexton - It perhaps doesn't do Sexton justice to call him a poor man's Springsteen. But the unquenchable energy, dynamic stage presence, and unvarnished honesty of Sexton's performances definitely conjures The Boss. More of a folk-blues player with a pop touch, the Syracuse native injects a bar band booziness live that elevates the shows from concert to rock show, with all the joyous, sweaty stink that entails. Amos' Southend (Parker).
The Delegates - Even Francophiles would concede that the French aren't known for rocking, but this hard-core ska unit from Montreal are here to put the lie to that, mes amis. Boasting progressive lyrics reminiscent of the Clash's heyday and a dual-trombone attack, this six-piece's debut, We All Taste the Same, is available at fine record stores across Canada and on line at various punk-related sites. Of course you could just go see 'em and skip both the retail middlemen and long-ass drive. With Fletcher, Fallen From the Sky and The Defeated. Milestone (Schacht)
Dave Alvin - Dave Alvin's Blasters days maybe over, but he remains a master American storyteller and guitarist, where simple words turn into a happy reminiscence or a bulging lump in the throat. This is a fine chance to see Alvin play tunes from his recent recording Ashgrove in a very intimate setting. With gogoPilot's Jeff Williams. The Evening Muse (Shukla)
Green Day - Somewhere along the line (see 2000's Warning), Green Day outgrew its pop-punk influences, and became a real band. They'd always been great nostalgists for the early British punk : The Jam, Buzzcocks, The Undertones and the Clash -- but Green Day's last two albums (including last year's American Idiot) have presented a band that's matured into something much more interesting. Cricket Arena (Parker). Cricket Arena