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Preston's picks: Merle Haggard at Billy Bob's, the Vespers at Live Oak

Posted 10:24am on Wednesday, Jun. 27, 2012

Merle Haggard at Billy Bob's Texas

Listen, genuine country superstars are in uncomfortably short supply these days, so when someone of Merle Haggard's stature swings through town, it's best to make an effort to be in the audience. Apart from the ever-present, morbid possibility that this could be the last show these old-timers play here, there's (more importantly) the simple fact that these songs, several decades removed from popularity, remain some of Nashville-via-Bakersfield's greatest moments. The Hag continues to tour behind 2010's appropriately titled I Am What I Am, sharing his rascally charms and gruff, one-of-a-kind voice with those smart enough to experience it.

10:30 p.m. Saturday. Billy Bob's Texas, Fort Worth. $15-$35.

The Vespers at Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge

Two sets of siblings -- Callie and Phoebe Cryar and Bruno and Taylor Jones -- make up Nashville-based the Vespers. Blending beautifully crafted folk-pop with a distinctly spiritual feel, the foursome just released its sophomore album, The Fourth Wall, in April. With plenty of critical buzz and an ever-expanding fan base, the Vespers will grace Fort Worth's newest listening room for a seated show sure to capture the Live Oak's sparkling acoustics. With Johnny Stimson.

8 p.m. Thursday. Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge, Fort Worth. $12.

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