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Laura Merrimen 

For the past year, Laura Merrimen and the Lonesome Travellers have been mixing up alt-country and blues rock for delighted local audiences. After having gone through a few line-up changes, the band is currently recording a full-length LP under the aegis of Halifax blues master Brad Conrad. Merrimen, a Hubbards native with a 10-gallon voice that recalls the twang of Gillian Welch and the timbre of Jann Arden, credits her upbringing in a musical home for placing her on the path towards full-time musicianship. "Both my parents were musicians," she says. She'll be taking to the stage next weekend with her guitar and harmonicas to dish out a mix of band and solo material. Absent will be the blistering pentatonics and creeping bass of the Travellers: Instead, expect something soft and bluegrassy. "It's definitely going to be a little bit folksier," says Merrimen. (MA)

Songwriters' circle w/Steven Bowers, Dan Ledwell, Friday at FRED, 9pm, $7-$20 (all-venue pass). Saturday at the Italian Cultural Centre, 4:30pm, $10-$25 (all-venue pass)./p>


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