Music Menu (2/27/09)

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The Houstons The laid-back harmonies of brothers Matt and Justin Faircloth (nee Houston) always seem to be comprised of equal parts resignation and rejoicing, and the mid-tempo shuffle of the songs works perfectly whether one's settling in for the evening or preparing to take the town by storm. Sonically, it's also dead-on Houston – or anywhere where there's plenty of room to roam. Ostensibly a mix of steel, hazy pedal-driven guitar and brushed drums, it's driving music – in either interpretation of the word. With the Trouble Walkers and Bruce Hazel and Some Volunteers. The Milestone (Timothy C. Davis)

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Blue Dogs The Blue Dogs isn't going to blow you away with its musicianship, necessarily, but the band does manage to rollick along rather pleasantly, knowing that mid-tempo doesn't have to mean Hootie. Bobby Houck and co. do a nice job of consistently evoking the Carolina landscape without resorting to faux country tropes, and the whole thing really swings after a couple cold ones: rhythm and brews, if you will. Sylvia Theater, York (Davis)

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