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This Little Underground

Bao Le-Huu takes on Jane's Addiction, the Duke Spirit, Heartless Bastards and more

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Also impressive was opener These United States. Be it steam and spirit or majesty and mood, their robust alternative country rock can handle it all nicely.

Although he's from Tennessee, Knoxville's Matt Woods (May 18, Will's Pub) fits in pretty well around here among all the alt-twangsters. Accompanied only by local drummer Larry Fulford (the Sweetkisses, the Nine Volts), the clear-throated country troubadour is the kind of artist who can fill a room with just an acoustic guitar and his huge heart. It's that particular kind of soul that mystically commands good ol' boys to wrap their arms around each other's necks. For you ladies who think men aren't demonstratively affectionate, just put on a certain kind of country music and you'll see how wrong you are. Toward the end, Woods brought up like-minded locals Scott Metts (Lonesome City Travelers) and Johnny Knuckles for a four-way beard showdown! OK, perhaps that was coincidental. But it turns out they all harmonize pretty well together.

Also playing was local country-rock band Six Time Losers, who could really be something if they simply purged themselves of the modern-rock, college-bro tendencies and just committed fully to the country. That divide isn't one worth straddling because all it does is dilute their solid songs. So less flip-flops and more boots,then they'll be taken more seriously.

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