Six-string giant Buddy Guy delivers sublime blues

Though confined to a chair when performing onstage, guitar legend B.B. King manages to deliver stinging solos filled with his trademark vibrato that sound as vital today as when he first tracked his earliest hits over a half-century ago. Along with fellow six-string giant Buddy Guy, King stands as one of the last living representatives of the original electric blues revolution. The octogenarian guitar maestro's annual summer tours frequently give the spotlight to Stevie Ray Vaughan wannabes who don't deserve to tune King's beloved Gibson Lucille, but this year he's paired with an equally towering figure: smoldering, sanctified R&B vocalist Al Green. Live, the Reverend Green still possesses the soaring falsetto that powered his remarkable string of landmark '70s albums, and he mixes classic tunes with more recent songs drawn from his welcome return to secular music. Green and blues diva Etta James share the stage with King on Saturday, Sept. 8 at Sleep Train Pavilion in Concord at 7 p.m. Admission is $37.50-79.50; call 925-676-8742 or visit www.livenation.com for more info. —D.P.

Though they've been periodically distracted by their inordinate side projects (Sunset Rubdown, Handsome Furs, Swan Lake), the men of Montreal-based band Wolf Parade still adhere to a rigorous touring schedule. This is a temporary comfort for fans eager to hear a follow-up to 2005's Apologies to the Queen Mary. That album was a gorgeous collection of discordant chamber-pop that alternately trembled and soared with the Jeff Magnum-channeling whims of vocalist Dan Boeckner. A new disc is gradually coming together at the band's studio back home, but it probably won't be out until mid-2008, according to the band's label, Sub Pop. Wolf Parade performs on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at Great American Music Hall at 8 p.m. Tickets have sold out; call 885-0750 or visit www.gamh.com for more info. —H.L.

Gossip frontwoman Beth Ditto wasn't the only lady of stature stripping down and making de facto political statements at this year's South by Southwest festival. The self-avowed lesbian, feminist Christians (yes, you read that correctly) who comprise Yo! Majesty performed topless during their set at the Beauty Bar, conjuring an electric atmosphere of admiration and fear. These three bad-ass black butches from Tampa are no novelty act, however, thanks to a fierce flow, infectious, R&B-flavored beats, and their deft fusion of humor and smarts. Yo! Majesty performs with Cool Kids on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the Mezzanine at 9 p.m. Admission is free with R.S.V.P. at http://sanfrancisco.going.com/yomajesty_Mezzanine. —H.L.

 
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