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MICHAEL BURKS -- Those needing a dose of Albert King's lovingly gruff vocals and tough, fiery blues guitar can skip his box set and head out to hear the next best thing in person. Mixing greasy Memphis R&B with a soulful approach and stinging leads, Burks doesn't do anything we haven't heard before -- he just does it better. Blind Willie's (Horowitz)

MERLE HAGGARD -- The Hag is one of the few country music legends who continues to put out significant music well into his sixth decade as an entertainer. His voice may be a little weaker and his on-stage energy a bit lower, but his grasp of the art of singing a real song is eternal. Georgia Theatre/Athens (J. Kelly)

MATTHEW KAHLER, GERARD MCHUGH, ANDY OFFUT IRWIN -- A writers-in-the-round event, this show features the talents of up-and-coming Shawn Mullins protege Matthew Kahler, along with the crafty song stylings of the lyrically Poe-esque Gerard McHugh. The wild card is Andy Irwin, a towering presence whose amazing throat channels dozens of different voices while his fiery fingertips perform equally jaw-dropping wonders on acoustic guitar. Eddie's Attic (Nicoll)

MILEMARKER, FIN FANG FOOM -- Touring machine Milemarker returns to support the reissue of its third album, Frigid Forms Sell. Its synth-punctuated start/stop rhythms and impassioned theatrics are not to be missed. Fin Fang Foom's post-punk befits the title of its latest album, Texture, Structure and the Condition of Moods. Airoes also performs. The Earl (Ware)

YOUNGBLOODZ, JIM CROW -- The Attic Crew represents at Tech as Atlanta duo the Youngbloodz and trio Jim Crow put in guest performances at a showcase of underground talent and freestyle battling. Under the Couch (Sarig)

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