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Preston’s picks: Jeff Coffin at Live Oak; Ray Benson at McDavid Studio

Posted 11:14am on Wednesday, Jan. 08, 2014

Jeff Coffin & the Mu’tet at the Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge

For the better part of two decades, saxophonist Jeff Coffin has anchored a pair of jam-band favorites: Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and, since 2008, the Dave Matthews Band, taking over full time for the late LeRoi Moore in 2009. In his spare time, the Grammy-winning musician, composer and educator also indulges his photography hobby, and performs solo as well as with the Mu’tet (Roy “Futureman” Wooten, Felix Pastorius, Bill Fanning and Chris Walters). While he’s in North Texas to perform as part of the Jazz Education Network’s fifth annual conference, Coffin and his collaborators are squeezing in a few area dates in support of their latest LP, Into the Air. (Coffin and the Mu’tet also play Poor David’s Pub in Dallas on Saturday.)

8 p.m. Friday. Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge, Fort Worth. $15.

Ray Benson at McDavid Studio

It is exceptionally rare to see this towering baritone apart from his longtime band, Asleep at the Wheel, but this evening with one of the Lone Star State’s most affable ambassadors is tied to the upcoming release of A Little Piece, Benson’s first solo record in more than 10 years. The 11-track LP, due out Jan. 21, features a cameo from another Texas icon, Willie Nelson, and is being billed as “a highly personal collection of songs.” Don’t miss an opportunity to get up close and personal with a true éminence grise of Texas music. With MilkDrive.

8 p.m. Thursday. McDavid Studio, Fort Worth. $29.70.

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