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A&E Feature

What to Know Before You Go


Son Volt with Bobby Bare Jr.
9 p.m. Tue., April 15
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS;

Jay Farrar's Son Volt formed in 1989 out of the remnants of the seminal alt-country act Uncle Tupelo, whose other fragments went on to become a band you may know: Wilco. Son Volt has stayed on the roots-informed path, making vast, dense, often melancholy Americana albums. Its latest, last year's The Search, is as rich as ever: textured and eloquent, with yearning, meditative lyrics, soulful horns and plenty of barroom honk and stomp. Son Volt shares the bill with Bobby Bare Jr., son of the Nashville legend who penned the famous tearjerker "Detroit City." Bare Jr.'s musical path has always followed the spirit, if not the letter, of that mandate of country royalty. In the late '90s, he fronted an eponymous act that skewed grunge-rock fuzz and ennui with a beery, Dixie-fried attitude. His latest projects, which include producing a new album for his dad, show him continuing to affectionately upend Nashville tradition with witty, biting lyrics and a quirky alt-country style. Tickets $16 in advance, $18 at the door. — Alison Fensterstock




Little Freddie King
10 p.m. Sat., April 19
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-8361;

Look in the dictionary under blues and you'll see a picture of Little Freddie King. He's the archetypal bluesman from central casting — check the bio. The son of a Mississippi sharecropper, King rode a freight train to New Orleans at 14 years old with only a flour sack of clothes to his name. Later on, he became a familiar downtown presence, riding his rickety bicycle to his day job at an auto shop. He survived a stabbing during a barroom brawl, and not one but two separate bullets in the back from his wife. Hard-luck resume aside, all you need to do is listen to the man sing. On his pawnshop guitars, King wrenches bloody, grinding blues as real as dirt. On his 2005 debut for Fat Possum Records, You Don't Know What I Know , King laid down a straight gutbucket set. On his latest, last month's Messin' Around the House (MadeWright Records), King switches it up with a few remixes. Looped vocals and effects echo like a train in the distance behind his hard-driving guitar. Tickets $7. — Fensterstock




Big Easy Music Awards
8 p.m. Mon., April 21
Harrah's Casino Theatre, 8 Canal St., 483-3129;

The Big Easy Music Awards honor musicians for achievement in 2007. Comedian/actor Harry Shearer will host the evening. There will be live performances by Terence Blanchard, Jon Cleary (pictured), Marva Wright, Cupid, Terrance Simien and Zydeco Express, and an all-star jam with Donald Harrison, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, Big Sam Williams, Stanton Moore, Shamarr Allen and others. Special recognition awards will go to Entertainer of the Year Terence Blanchard, who released the Grammy-winning A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina) , R&B pianist Eddie Bo for lifetime achievement, and a Music Heritage Award will be given to Al "Carnival Time" Johnson. Donald Harrison is this year's Ambassador of Music. Winners will be announced for categories ranging from Best Album to Best Male and Female performers. Top bands will be named in categories from gospel choir to contemporary and traditional jazz bands to funk, Latin and electronica. Tickets include open bar and hors d'oeuvres. Tickets $100. — Will Coviello




Lionel Hampton Big Band with special guests Jason Marsalis and Stephanie Jordan
9 p.m. Sat., April 19
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St., 539-9614;

Lionel Hampton was one of the great men of jazz. He was part of Benny Goodman's Quartet that broke racial barriers in the 1930s before starting his own big band and running it for more than 60 years before his death in 2002. The band brought a sense of fun and played a kind of big-band jazz that was a precursor to rhythm and blues. Hampton always included great sidemen to blow over his strong, melodic vibraphone. Illinois Jacquet's wild solo over the Hampton Band's "Flying Home" sounds as vibrant today as the day it was recorded. This celebration of Hampton's birthday centennial features his band with special guests Jason Marsalis, who will be showing off his growing chops on the vibraphone, and underrated vocalist Stephanie Jordan, who wowed the crowd and the country at the NBA All-Star game with the best rendition of the national anthem since Marvin Gaye's. On Sunday, there is a panel discussion (2 p.m.-4 p.m.) with members of the band to launch the book Flying Home Lionel Hampton: Celebrating 100 years of Good Vibes . Written by critic and agent provocateur Stanley Crouch, the book features pictures of Hampton with his musical and social compatriots. Besides being a talented musician, Hampton was a great supporter of social causes, and the book documents that side of his life. Tickets $50 in advance (includes copy of book), $25 general admission. — David Kunian


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