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PJ Morton comes to South on Main

Also, Dale Watson at Jimmy Doyle Country Club, Steely Dan comes to Verizon and more.




9 p.m. Jimmy Doyle Country Club. $10.

Dale Watson likes to say he and his band turn everything into a honky tonk as they go, which shouldn't be too much of a stretch for them at Jimmy Doyle's Country Club. On the heels of the club's 42nd anniversary, Watson and his Ameripolitan outfit take the stage there, and it's been a long time coming; Watson told us "for years — I mean eons — I drove right past it and thought, man, that's a cool place, I never get a chance to stop in there, and I want to." The pompadour-coiffed and relentlessly hard-working author of bonafide country anthems like "I Lie When I Drink" and "Call Me Insane," Watson knows a thing or two about clubs himself: After scouring Craigslist for a pinball machine for his former venture, Ginny's Little Longhorn, he ended up buying The Big T Roadhouse in St. Hedwig, Texas (acclaimed as "the home of chicken shit bingo"), where he plays every Saturday night he's not on the road. Doors open at 7 p.m.; bring some folding money: Jimmy Doyle's is a cash-only establishment.


9 p.m. South on Main. $20.

Geographically speaking, PJ Morton has come full circle. The son of Bishop Paul S. Morton, who leads the services at New Orleans' Greater St. Stephen Baptist Church, PJ left home to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta and came back with a Grammy before he'd even graduated, having met and collaborated with India.Arie on "Interested" from her 2002 album "Voyage to India." Morton completed his degree in marketing, played keyboards for Erykah Badu on tour, and eventually joined Maroon 5 as a permanent member, from which he launched a solo venture (debuted on the Young Money label with cameos from Lil Wayne and Maroon 5's Adam Levine). After a record-breaking 70-week stint on the gospel charts for his production of DeWayne Woods' "Let Go, Let God," a Dove Award and a collaboration with longtime hero Stevie Wonder, Morton has moved back home to New Orleans with his wife and children, where he's launched a record label of his own (Morton Records) to elevate what he calls "a New Orleans Motown." For a taste of the collective bounce he'll undoubtedly induce at South on Main Saturday night, check out PJ Morton and the Crusade's horn-heavy 2015 live album, "Live Show Killer."


7:30 p.m. Verizon Arena. $79-$103.

A disaffection with academia, a shared obsession with obscure science fiction and a vehement distaste for rock songs with too few chord changes that Donald Fagen and Walter Becker shared in a meeting in a student lounge at Bard College resulted — thank God — in jazz pieces thinly veiled as rock. For diehard fans, it's nothing short of nightmarish to think what we'd have been robbed of had Becker chosen a more private nook in which to plunk around on his red Epiphone that day. (Surely kismet would have intervened eventually?) The ensuing repertoire, complete with mysterious chord progressions and the musicians' own universe of arcane references to time travel, LSD chemists and fictional weapons (see: "battle apple" in the Steely Dan Dictionary), solidified the duo's reputation as sonic perfectionists; their care of craft drove them from the touring life for most of their career. Take it from someone who lovingly named two female foster cats "Donald" and "Walter:" Steely Dan's meticulous approach to achieving studio clarity in a live environment will be evident from the first note of the first song they play (my money's on "Black Cow"), and the backing band they've been rolling with lately is damned near an embarrassment of musical riches. Note: Steve Winwood is "special guest" on the tour.


9 p.m. Triniti Nightclub. $5 minimum donation.

Michael Belvedere has been employed at Orlando's Pulse nightclub, where he's bartended and performed under the drag persona Axel Andrews, for seven years. He was working behind the bar on the night of the June 12 shooting, and hid in a dressing room with several others for hours until their rescue by police. In an interview with Billboard magazine, Belvedere described how he worked in concert with club management over the phone, mapping a way for police to access the dressing room through an air-conditioning unit on the dressing room's back wall. Belvedere, as Axel Andrews, will join a host of Little Rock performers for a show to benefit Equality Florida Action Inc., a nonprofit advocacy organization whose mission statement is to secure "full equality for Florida's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community." Security has been heightened at several gay-friendly spots around Little Rock and this weekend at Triniti Nightclub will be no exception; the club will be taking every measure to keep patrons partying safely. Cover charges collected on the Friday evening preceding the event will also be donated to Equality Florida, with a 100 percent match by club owner Norman Jones.


9 p.m. White Water Tavern. $10-$30.

Every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. Central, Seth Baldy raises our collective funk consciousness by a couple of notches with KABF-FM, 88.3's "Heartbreakers and Rumpshakers," the radio program Baldy developed in 2003 with co-hosts Matt White and Michael Inscoe on Hendrix College's KHDX-FM, 93.1, and which he named after a 7-inch released on Nate Powell's Harlan Records. Baldy's in possession of an encyclopedic knowledge of wicked grooves, about which he could undoubtedly wax poetic at length on the airwaves. Mostly, though, he doesn't; the collage of tunes he curates for the show (now with co-host Aaron Roberts) is strong enough to speak for itself, and he lets it. In a tradition that's held fast since 2011, when Baldy came up with the idea to transform some lively after-hours hang-out sessions into a full-fledged dance party, "Heartbreakers and Rumpshakers" has recruited some of Little Rock's most revered arbiters of soul to welcome the summer solstice. For the first time, live performance will be added to the DJ mix: vocalist Bijoux (a.k.a. Her Royal Dopeness), backed by The Funkanites, which Baldy calls "an outrageously talented instrumental funk band." Deep cuts from '60s and '70s soul have been promised, with the possibility of DJ sets from Joshua Asante (Velvet Kente, Amasa Hines), Greg Mobley (a.k.a. G-Force) and Baldego himself (Seth Baldy).


8 p.m. Vino's. $15.

If you're a bass player performing alongside Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, you've got to be a master of technique. Hamm, born in New Orleans to a singer and a musicologist, generally employs his two-handed popping and slapping on a signature Warwick double cutaway electric bass these days, and can coax a universe of sounds from those four strings. Vai and Satriani fans can expect to hear their favorites, but Hamm has some decidedly more mainstream repertoire, too: His debut solo album "Radio Free Albemuth" (inspired by the Philip K. Dick novel of the same name) includes a cover of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata." When asked about the impetus to tour this summer with his trio (Jeff Bowders on drums, Kim SeHwang on guitar), Hamm told Bass Player magazine he was out to "give the folks what they want," which means we'll likely be treated to Hamm's jaw-dropping cover of Vince Guaraldi's "Linus and Lucy."


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