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Where to go. What to hear.

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Idol Worship Begins at Sunset

Since winning television's biggest karaoke contest, Ruben Studdard has dropped a couple of R&B albums and a gospel one with moderate success. He isn't doing Kelly Clarkson numbers, but he's no Justin Guarini, either. Perhaps the most notable detail of his predictable ascension into the pop stratum has been his weight reduction. The man known as the velvet teddy bear has lost about 80 pounds of stuffing after switching to a vegetarian diet. What's left of Ruben Studdard comes to the Fridays at Sunset stage at Kanawha June 15 at 8 p.m. $20-$25. Call 644-8515 or visit www.fridaysatsunset.com. — Craig Belcher

Waybacks Up Front at Science Museum

The annual On Track for the Cure concert returns to the former train station with San Francisco's The Waybacks. The band's music isn't easily categorized. The Waybacks echo elements of bluegrass, jazz and folk, and like to play improvisational jams. Apparently, their discipline and musicianship is becoming renowned. A writer for a plucky little publication called Billboard recently wrote, "These guys can play like bandits." The benefit concert for the VCU Massey Cancer Center begins Saturday, June 16, at 7 p.m. with The Gary Gerloff Band. $15. 794-4531. — C.B.

Last Waltz at Alley Katz

By now, tribute bands are pretty standard fare. Without them, there would be no one to continue singing "Truckin'" over a decade since the Grateful Dead broke up and the global tie-die market as we know it would collapse. But a tribute band honoring "The Band" that takes its name from a Martin Scorsese documentary chronicling a 1976 concert by The Band? The layers of meta alone should be worth the price of admission. Last Waltz and special guest Bobby Houck from the Blue Dogs brings their interpretation of The Band's classic rock repertoire to Alley Katz on June 14 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10-12. Visit www.alleykatzrva.com or call 643-2816. - Colby Rogers

Son Volt at Groovin' in the Garden



Following a six-year hiatus, frontman Jay Farrar was the only member of alt-country band Son Volt interested in reuniting. Not to be stifled, Farrar ditched a flaccid solo career and reconstructed Son Volt from a cast of newbies. In 2005, the band released "Okemah and the Melody of Riot," for the most part featuring melodic and gentle songs. Vermont-based country/rock group Chuch opens. Son Volt plays Thursday, June 14, at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. $15-$20. Call 794-6700 or visit www.richmondconcerts.net. — Sarah Mogin

Twang for the Buck

Joe Buck brings his "hillbilly stomp" music to Poe's Pub Tuesday, June 19. Buck, who plays bass for Hank Williams III's Damn Band, recently released "Hillbilly Speedball," his debut CD, a mix of blues and rock. He reportedly makes his unique sounds using a three-string cigar-box guitar, which some have called "Appalachian heavy metal" and "blues on steroids." CuzN Wildweed and guitar gurus The Vapor Rhinos open at 8 p.m. $7. 648-2120. — C.B.

Band Blooms Again at Innsbrook

The Gin Blossoms' 20-year career first began to flourish with 1992's "New Miserable Experience," featuring '90s hit "Hey Jealousy." Experiences turned miserable following a split in 1997, but the group has since reunited, releasing 2006's "Major Lodge Victory," the band's first new album in 10 years. Expect a mix of old and new when the Gin Blossoms visit the Snagajob.com Pavilion Wednesday, June 13. Gates open at 6 p.m. $10-$15. Call 423-6589 or visit www.innsbrookafterhours.com. — S.M.

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