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Jerry Douglas Band

The Egg, Friday

You most likely know him as a producer, or as the dobro man for Alison Krauss and Union Station, or for his stints performing alongside Ray Charles, Peter Rowan, Béla Fleck, Emmylou Harris, Phish, Dolly Parton, T Bone Burnett, Paul Simon, Ricky Skaggs, Bill Frisell, Nanci Griffith, Tony Rice, Elvis Costello, Johnny Mathis, or James Taylor. Tomorrow (Friday) the sideman gets top billing, as Jerry Douglas and his band will celebrate the seasonal spirit with songs from Jerry Christmas, a brand new collection of dobro-flavored holiday classics. The band will be joined by John Oates—contemporary music’s most famous, though unintentional, sideman—and Irish singer Maura O’Connell. (Dec. 11, 8 PM, $34.50, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

Enter the Haggis

Enter the Haggis

Revolution Hall, Friday

It seems like every commercially successful Celtic band (and there are more than you might think) claim a plethora of non-Celtic influences, making them more widely accessible for those who do not hail directly from the Emerald Isle. Enter the Haggis are no different. Along with traditional bagpipes, fiddles and narrative lyrics, their experimental blend includes elements of rock, pop, funk, prog-rock and even “jig-punk.” Their seventh and latest album, Gutter Anthems, released in March, features the Toronto act’s now-typical mix of drinking songs and pop tunes. Watch out for the traveling “Haggis Heads” who follow the band from show to show. (Dec. 11, 8 PM, $20, 425 River St., Troy, 274-0553)

Erin McKeown

Dream Away Lodge, Saturday

Hundreds of Lions is the latest from Northampton, Mass.-based musician Erin McKeown, and it’s in the McKeown tradition, in that it’s just as different from her preceding studio album as that album was to its predecessor. Though that wasn’t hard to do—2006’s Sing You Sinners was a collection of American standards, while Lions is a decidedly original affair. (Lions is also McKeown’s Righteous Babe debut.) The artist, just off a tour with Jill Sobule, will make a stop at the almost-mythical Dream Away this weekend; it will be interesting to see if this becomes her new home in the Berkshires following Club Helsinki’s recent closure. (Dec. 12, 8 PM, call for price [and directions!], 1342 County Road, Becket, Mass., 413-623-8725)

Heavenly Echoes Gospel Singers

Sanctuary for Independent Media, Saturday

This is one of those things that you just know is going to feel really good. The Sanctuary for Independent Media continues its “Live From Lock One” concert series with the Heavenly Echoes Gospel Singers, one of the Capital Region’s longest-running gospel groups. They’ll be joined by the men’s chorus of Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church of Lansingburgh and the men’s chorus of Schenectady’s Duryee AME Zion Church for what should be a mighty night of righteous harmony. The performance will be hosted by music writer Don Wilcock, and recorded for later release. Go and make your voices heard. (Dec. 12, 8 PM, $10 suggested donation, $5 students or low income, 3361 6th Ave., Troy, 272-2390)

Perfect Thyroid vs. The Big Shoe

Bearsville Theater, Saturday

It ain’t gonna be pretty. Some bands go through periods of redefining themselves, and most deal with internal ego trips, but this one qualifies as a full-blown existential crisis. Perfect Thyroid, those Hudson Valley purveyors of “skunk music” (think mid-’90s ska-funk) have thrown down the gauntlet for a good-old-fashioned battle of the bands. Problem is: The band who picked that gauntlet up was the Big Shoe, Perfect Thyroid’s comedy-funk cover-band alter-ego. As the contender, the Big Shoe gets first crack, and they’ll have to make those Peter Gabriel tunes count, because Perfect Thyroid were chosen by Alternative Press as among the top ska-influenced groups of all time. It seems all that skanking can make you go schizo. (Dec. 12, 9 PM, $10, 291 Tinker St., Woodstock, 845-679-4406)

Also Noted

Derek Trucks Band

The Linda hosts another CRUMBS Night Out tonight (Thursday); this month’s event features live music from Capital Region folk act Three Quarter North (8 PM, free, 465-5233 ext. 4). . . . Tonight at Valentine’s, the reliably outrageous Aficionado share a bill with Six Gallery, Forman, and the Nightlife (8 PM, 432-6572). . . . Mirk and the New Familiars head up a crowded roster at Red Square tomorrow (Friday) to raise funds for the Langan School of the Albany Center for the Disabled; other acts include Atomic Tom and Eric Margan and the Red Lions (7:30 PM, $10, 465-0444). . . . At Putnam Den in Saratoga the same night, Positive Mental Trip will host the first of two Jam for Tots fundraisers to help buy toys for needy local children; Dr. Jah and the Love Prophets are among the numerous scheduled acts (7 PM, $7, 584-8066). . . . The Figgs’ annual holiday throwdown doubles as a vinyl-release party for their new single; they’re at Valentine’s Friday with Kitty Little and Scientific Maps (9 PM, 432-6572). . . . The Wholesale Klezmer Band’s annual Hannukah throwdown is at Caffe Lena on Saturday (8 PM, $17, 583-0022). . . . The Egg’s 2009 music schedule more or less closes (not counting a family show next weekend) with the Joey Thomas Big Band presenting a Sinatra Christmas on Saturday (3 PM, $25-$30, 473-1845), followed by Sunday’s show from the Derek Trucks Band (7:30 PM, $34.50-$49.50, 473-1845).

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