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Donna Hughes
9-11:30 p.m. Friday, The Blue Vine, 209 S, Main St., 704-797-0093. No cover.
Bluegrass singer and songwriter Donna Hughes has written more than 250 songs in a little more than a decade, including compositions for Alison Krauss and The Seldom Scene.
On her CD “Gaining Wisdom” Krauss and Mary Chapin Carpenter can be heard harmonizing on the tender album opener, and other guests include mandolin man Sam Bush, singer Rhonda Vincent and guitarist Tony Rice, who also produced the disc.
The CD includes superb originals, and a couple of well chosen covers, including Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.”
Ken Barnes of USA Today included “Gaining Wisdom” in his list of Top Albums of 2007. Travis Tackett of Bluegrass Journal.com named it his number one CD pick for the year.
www.donnahughes.com
Dylan Gilbert
8 p.m. Saturday. Escape the Daily Grind. 316 S. Salisbury Ave., Spencer. 704-636-0160. No cover charge.
(Also appearing at Rainy Day Bookstore Saturday.)
Raised in a musical family, Dylan Gilbert grew up in Charlotte writing and performing original music from an early age. His influences include indie pop, folk, jazz, British rock and experimental music.
He released his debut EP “Oh No Oh Now I Know” in December 2005. In September 2006, he released a full-length CD, “The Artist and The Scientist.”
His latest album, “The Quiet Life” is set for release on Feb. 12.
This 20-year-old has toured extensively throughout the southeast the past two years. His next album “The Quiet Life” will be released February 2008.
Timothy C. Davis of Creative Loafing says, “Frankly, it sounds like the work of someone at least 10 years older…I’m not ready to anoint him the New Dylan just yet, but rest assured that this Dylan’s the real deal nonetheless. What’s in a name? A lot, it seems.”
www.dylangilbert.com
Linus van Pelt
8 p.m. Saturday. Escape the Daily Grind, 316 S. Salisbury Ave., Spencer. 704-636-0160. No cover charge.
Linus Van Pelt, an alternative country/western quartet hailing from North Wilkesboro, blends influences such as The Violent Femmes, Ryan Adams, Avett Brothers, Emmylou Harris, The White Stripes, John Prine and Sufjan Stevens.
The group features Zeb Wright, guitar, vocals and songwriter; Karie Scott Duncan, bass and backing vocals; Phillip Wyatt Organ, glockenspiel, tambourine, various percussion and backing vocals; and Gwyn McGlamery, drums and backing vocals.
Their debut six song EP “Or Am I a Nightmare?” was released Christmas Day 2007. Since the release the group has been working on new material for a full length album while booking shows across the southeast.
www.myspace.com/linusvanpeltmusic 
Michael Pickett
10 p.m. Saturday. Three Fifteen, 315 E. Council St., 704-633-1315. $7 cover.
www.threefifteen.com
Two-time JUNO nominee, award-winning EMI recording artist Michael Pickett returns to Salisbury Saturday.
He’s an eclectic and captivating storyteller singer/songwriter delivering delta blues, country, folk and Americana with extraordinary soul. He has a three-plus decade history of fronting bands and has elicited standing ovations in prestigious venues such as Toronto’s Massey Hall, Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia, Wash. and, more recently, in Marbella, Spain.
His unique fusion of sensibilities, driven by his thumping Delta guitar rhythms, muscular harmonica and gravel and chains voice is, at once, traditional and relevant.
According to Blues Revue/USA- “Pickett continues to amaze everyone with even more unexpected talents and creative dimensions. A world-class tunesmith. One of Canada’s top acoustic blues artists!”
www.michaelpickett.com 
Hammer No More the Fingers
Saturday, Rainy Day Bookstore, 123 E. Innes St. www.myspace/ rainydaybooks. (No cover, contributions for bands’ gas money accepted.)
Doing more with less, Hammer No More The Fingers is a three-piece band from Durham/Chapel Hill. In 1994 they were a collective of 10 year-olds playing all original music except for an Archers of Loaf cover. Pixies, Chili Peppers, TMBG, Nirvana probably formed the mold. So you could shoehorn them into an early 90’s indie revival type thing, but it’s a little like putting a squid in a sweater.
The group features Jeff Stickley: drums, vocals; E. Duncan Webster: vocals, bass; Joe Hall: guitar, vocals.
Hammer No More The Fingers’ sound is luxuriously full for a three-piece. They write catchy, edgy, slightly off-kilter rock music and their live show is powerful and reckless, yet somehow tasteful and refined.
www.myspace.com/hnmtf 
Dana and Susan Robinson
9-11:30 p.m. Saturday, The Blue Vine, 209 S. Main St., 704-797-0093. No cover.
Asheville-based folk duo Dana and Susan Robinson make their Salisbury debut Saturday.
Dana launched into full-time touring after the release of his debut album “Elemental Lullabye” in 1994, encouraged by the request to perform at Carnegie Hall for Putumayo’s Shelter benefit concert. Since then, he has been performing more than 150 concerts each year across the US, Canada, and United Kingdom.
A multi-instrumentalist (guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo), Dana brings traditional music values into his contemporary songwriting. Susan contributes rich harmonies and the clawhammer-style banjo into the act.
They met in 2002 in California when Susan was studying Scottish fiddle. A natural musician, she took instantly to the guitar and banjo when she and Dana began playing together.
www.robinsongs.com

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