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Live music picks: June 3-7

Miranda Lambert headlines Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre June 4. Josh Kelley and Ashton Shepherd open the show. Photo: Randee St. Nicholas

Miranda Lambert headlines Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre June 4. Josh Kelley and Ashton Shepherd open the show. Photo: Randee St. Nicholas

FRIDAY
The Monkees

Some consider this manufactured-for-TV outfit the original boy band, and they have a good case. That shouldn’t detract from the string of irresistible hits the band scored from 1966 to 1968, including “Last Train to Clarksville,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” “I’m a Believer” and “Valleri.” On this tour, as on most of the reunion efforts since the ’70s, Michael Nesmith will not be joining Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork and Davy Jones.
8 p.m. June 3. $25-$59. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta. 404-733-4949.

FRIDAY
Jonny Lang

Lang was just 16 when he released his debut album in 1998. The Grammy-winning American blues guitarist and singer most recently visited Atlanta as part of the Experience Hendrix tour in spring 2010, which celebrated the brilliance of Jimi Hendrix. He was supposed to return last summer for an August show at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, but had to cancel at the last minute when his wife gave birth the day before the scheduled show.
8 p.m. June 3. $37. Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-876-5859.

FRIDAY
Brian McKnight

It’s called the “Just Me” tour, but McKnight will be joined by brother Claude McKnight (of Take 6 fame) and his sons BJ (Brian Jr.) and Niko (who are also known as BRKN RBTZ, pronounced “broken robots”). The title “Just Me” comes from McKnight’s upcoming 14th album, originally set for spring release and now set for July. With fellow R&B smoothies Joe and Dwele.
8 p.m. June 3. $45-$75. Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, 395 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-523-6275.

SATURDAY
Miranda Lambert, Josh Kelley, Ashton Shepherd

The sparkling Lambert is one of country music’s brightest talents, a critical favorite who finally broke big with “White Liar” (a No. 2 country hit) and “The House That Built Me” (her first No. 1), both from her third and latest album, “Revolution.” Her latest single, “Heart Like Mine,” recently became her second No. 1. Augusta-born Kelley, after years spent in the folk-pop singer-songwriter wilderness, is now enjoying a career in country. He also has some connections: Brother Charles is in Lady Antebellum and his wife is actress Katherine Heigl. Alabama’s Shepherd has that honest twang that so many of Nashville’s current crop are lacking. Her voice has that honky-tonk mojo, but it’s tempered with feminine warmth. Heck, on the cover of her debut, “Sounds So Good,” she’s sitting on the end of a pool table.
7:30 p.m. June 4. $19-$49. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. 404-733-5010.

SATURDAY
Ian McLagan

While the name might seem unfamiliar, his keyboard wizardry isn’t. Most of us have heard this guy play, even if we’re not aware of it. He’s there on the Small Faces’ “Itchycoo Park,” the Faces’ “Stay With Me,” Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” and the Rolling Stones’ “Miss You.” More recently he has lent his talented fingers to recordings by Lucinda Williams, Robert Earl Keen, Patty Griffin and Ryan Adams.
8 p.m. June 4. $18; $15 in advance. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-875-1522.

SUNDAY
B.B. King, Buddy Guy

These days, the aging King spends a lot of time seated during his shows, but even from a chair at center stage, he and his trusty six-string, Lucille, are a commanding presence. The charismatic entertainer, once known as the Beale Street Blues Boy, always raises goose bumps when he launches into “The Thrill is Gone.” The brilliant Chicago blues innovator and electric blues pioneer Guy is generally credited as one of Jimi Hendrix’s prime inspirations. Eric Clapton told Musician magazine in 1985 that “Buddy Guy is by far and without a doubt the best guitar player alive.”
8 p.m. June 5. $35.50-$65.50. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta. 404-233-2227.

TUESDAY
Katy Perry

Her No. 1 hit “I Kissed a Girl” made this former contemporary Christian artist (as Katy Hudson) a pop phenomenon. Her persona these days is a little on the naughty side, like the preacher’s daughter gone bad. And then she married British bad boy Russell Brand to make the transformation complete. She continues to rack up a long list of hits, including “Firework” and “Teenage Dream.”
7:30 p.m. June 7. $45. Gwinnett Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 770-813-7500.

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