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Saturday, July 23; Frederick's Music Lounge (4454 Chippewa Street)

Hundreds of groups like Jackhead exist in the Midwest bar-band circuit, sweating grit and twang with equal resolve. But the area quartet -- two members reside in St. Louis and two live in Carbondale, Illinois -- possesses the talent to compete with the alt-country elite. Its third and latest album, 2004's Slow Dance in the Kitchen, relies on simplicity for effect. Guitarist Charlie Tabing's rustic vocals -- part grizzled yowl, part weary country storyteller -- drive songs like "Boozehound" and relegate softly curling Americana riffs to the background. Although Jackhead has opened for the Bottle Rockets in the past, expect a light touring schedule this summer for the band. New material is also in the works, but much like the languid pace of its tunes, no release date is imminent.

Show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8; call 314-351-5711 for more information.

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