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Live music picks, June 11-17

Tracy Lawrence

Tracy Lawrence

FRIDAY
Tracy Lawrence

His career has had its ups and downs in the 15-plus years since his debut, hitting the spotlight most recently with the 2006 No. 1 hit “Find Out Who Your Friends Are.” A version of the song recorded with Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney received musical event of the year honors at the 2007 Country Music Association Awards and vocal event of the year award at the latest Academy of Country Music ceremony. He’s been in a hit-making lull of late, but Lawrence seems to bounce back again and again.
8 p.m. June 11. $20-$87.50. Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton. 770-819-3285.

FRIDAY
Packway Handle Band

Phenomenal vocal harmonies, bluegrass chops and a rock-informed sense of abandon are getting the Packway Handle Band noticed. If you’re a fan of the Avett Brothers or Nickel Creek, you need to check out these guys.
7:30 and 10:30 p.m. June 11. $12-$15; $20 for both shows. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.

FRIDAY
Jeff Beck with Imelda May

Beck has never abandoned what he’s always done best. Sure, he’s added touches of jazz and other styles to the blues-based, fuzz-toned power of his work in the Yardbirds in the mid-to-late ’60s, but it always sounds like Beck. He’s one of the best and most innovative guitarists of the past half-century, and it’s still a treat to hear him rage.
8 p.m. June 11. $38-$58. Chastain Park Amphitheater, 4469 Stella Drive N.W., Atlanta. 404-233-2227.

SATURDAY
Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen

Hillman was one of the founding members of the Byrds, but he was always into country and bluegrass. When Gram Parsons joined the Byrds in 1967, Hillman found a kindred spirit, and when Parsons formed the Flying Burrito Brothers, Hillman joined him in laying the foundation for country-rock. Banjo man Pedersen spent much of the ’60s doing bluegrass but went on to play on Parsons’ classic “Grievous Angel” album and many of Linda Ronstadt’s ’70s recordings before joining longtime friend Hillman in the Desert Rose Band in the late ’80s.
7 and 9:30 p.m. June 12. $25-$30. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.

Distant Relatives, aka Nas and Damian Marley. Photo: Nabil Elberkin

Distant Relatives, aka Nas and Damian Marley. Photo: Nabil Elberkin

SATURDAY
Distant Relatives featuring Nas and Damian Marley

If a collaboration between rapper Nas and Bob Marley’s son Damian seems like a stretch, one listen to the pair’s recent release “Distant Relatives” will make you a believer. The album is a joyous tribute to the shared African roots of their music. With Nneka.
9 p.m. June 12. $36. The Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-659-9022.

Mindy Smith. Photo: Traci Goudie

Mindy Smith. Photo: Traci Goudie

SUNDAY
Mindy Smith

Smith, who grew up in Smithtown, N.Y., first attracted buzz when she gave a fresh coat of paint to “Jolene” on a 2003 Dolly Parton tribute album (“Just Because I’m a Woman”). Following the delicate, soulful sadness of her 2004 debut album, “One Moment More,” her crystalline soprano was wrapped around an even better batch of tunes on the lovely “Long Island Shores.” Her latest, “Stupid Love,” leans a little more toward pop, but there’s still a touch of country twang in there. Fans of Nanci Griffith, Emmylou Harris or Alison Krauss should find plenty to love. This show is part of the Unplugged in the Park series, now in its eighth year. This is just the second of 20 Sundays of free shows.
7 p.m. June 13. Free. Park Tavern, 500 Tenth St., Atlanta. 404-249-0001.

MONDAY
Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek

One of the finest and most socially conscious hip-hop practitioners, Kweli’s art isn’t all about the Benjamins. It isn’t for lack of trying to hit the big time, though. As Kweli put it, in a lyric that was itself a response to a shout-out from Jay-Z, “If lyrics sold, then truth be told / I’d probably be just as rich and famous as Jay-Z” (from “Ghetto Show” on the 2004 album “The Beautiful Struggle”). The 1998 album “Black Star” brought the Brooklyn, N.Y., native together with another smart and original lyricist, fellow Brooklynite Mos Def. The record was a literate bright spot of positivity. A couple of years later, Kweli and “Black Star” producer Hi-Tek unleashed “Reflection Eternal: Train of Thought.” It was an ambitious high-water mark in underground rap. This year, the pair reunited as Reflection Eternal to release “Revolutions Per Minute.” With Kidz In The Hall.
9 p.m. June 14. $25; $23 advance. The Loft, 1374 W. Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.

THURSDAY
Caroline Aiken, Dede Vogt and Caroline Herring

Three of Atlanta’s finest singer-songwriters come together for an evening of music in the round. You really can’t go wrong when there’s this much talent gathered on one stage.
8 p.m. June 17. $15-$18. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.

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