BETSY FRANK & THE BAREKNUCLE BAND
At 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6
Coach's Corner, 3016 E. Victory Drive
The lines are thinning between musical genres, if you haven't noticed, and the sort of tortured R&B and blues coming out of the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Susan Tedeschi now fits very comfortably alongside hardscrabble honky tonk and what people in 23rd-floor journo offices like to call alt-country.
Which brings us to this band, a longtime Athens favorite. Franck has a marvelously expressive voice that can tear your heart out one minute, and kick some roadhouse ass the very next. Acoustically, she's got a sweet, Emmylou-esque vibe, but when the band kicks in, Franck is all business. She's been compared to Shelby Lynne and Lucinda Williams, and that kind of love is hard to argue with. See bareknuckleband.net
At 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3
Live Wire Music Hall, 307 W. River St.
Recently graduated from Surfdog Records to the LAW label (home to Savannah's own Passafire), this high energy, Maryland-based reggae-rock outfit has a new album (its fifth) about to drop any minute.
"Simplicity is key," Ballyhoo! Singer/guitarist Howi Spangler said a few months ago. "I think if you try to overthink things it'll start getting out of hand. I write about everything that happens to me, which in turn happens to millions of other people as well. I think the subject matter naturally comes out relatable and people can get into it.
"Melodically, I try to come up with the best stuff I can to hook you in and pull at your heartstrings. I've been moved by many songs because of the way the vocal melodies are." See ballyhoorocks.com
CHECK IT OUT
Florida-born honky tonker Kenneth Brian and his band are at the Jinx Aug. 6. This singer/songwriter's latest album was produced by the legendary Johnny Sandlin, of Capricorn Records fame, and features guests spots from the likes of Chuck Leavell, Jason Isbell and Bonnie Bramlett. Oh, yeah - Brian also had the title role in the musical revue Hank Williams: Lost Highway at the Zachary Scott Theatre in Austin .... Butthole Surfers bassist Jeff Pinkus brings his stoner-riffing, hard-chording Texas trio Honky to the Wormhole Tuesday (that's Aug. 9). The band's been compared to early, pre-sellout ZZ Top ... The Rock House (Tybee) celebrates its two-year anniversary Aug. 6 with a double-bill of Souls Harbor and Madam Adam ...