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To-Do List, Dec. 17 

 

CEDELL DAVIS

9:30 p.m., White Water Tavern. $10.

 

Life hasn't been easy for CeDell Davis. But Arkansas's greatest living blues man abides. Polio, contracted when he was 9 years old, stripped his right hand of its dexterity. So he flipped his guitar upside down and learned to play left-handed, using a table knife as a slide and creating one of the singular guitar sounds in blues. A stampede in a St. Louis tavern in 1957 took away what strength he had left in his legs. But he kept on playing, for a while with Robert Nighthawk, with whom he had a standing gig at the Jack Rabbit in Pine Bluff, and later, as a solo performer. Before he'd released any recordings, Robert Palmer mentioned him prominently in his seminal “Deep Blues,” and then produced his 1993 solo debut “Feel Like Doin' Something Wrong” on Fat Possum. Later releases featured backing by the likes of Col. Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit and Peter Buck of R.E.M. and Barrett Martin of the Screaming Trees. Several years back, Davis suffered a stroke that keeps him from playing guitar — or performing live much — but he's still got one of the great, raw blues hollers (Palmer, in his liner notes for “Feel Like,” called him “quite possibly the greatest hard core vocalist around”). He's joined by one-man-band Johnny Lowebow, R.L.'s son Duwayne Burnside, Tom Houston Jones and the Snake Hips and, fingers crossed, Lightnin' Malcolm. LM.

 

ELISE DAVIS

10 p.m., Juanita's. $7.

 

It's a safe bet that this'll be a good one. Young local singer/songwriter Elise Davis plans to introduce new material and welcome into the fold new bandmates (including Grand Serenade's Jordan Trotter and Trevor Ware) who helped create it. This preliminary crop of yet-to-be-released tunes looks to put Davis on a new level. Expect deeper and more complex structures and songs with sharper teeth. Which is not to say that dreamy cruiserweights from Davis' repertoire, such as “Thinking of You” and “Sniffin',” with its deliciously syrupy drag, won't hold up well on their own. Better still, if a song about coming home after a grueling day and basically saying, “Bad day, sweetheart, nothing against you, but I'm not much for words right now, so kindly buzz off and let me go to sleep,” feels familiar, then “Do You Mind” is one to holler requests for. The 18-and-up triple bill kicks off with Matt Stell and the Crashers and Nevertrain. PP.

 

 

DAUGHTRY

7:30 p.m., Verizon Arena. $31.25-$41.25.

 

Just in case there's any confusion, Daughtry is not just the last name of “American Idol” season five vet Chris Daughtry, it's also the name of Daughtry's band. Initially, after Daughtry's unwavering earnestness ran its course on “Idol” and he spurned Fuel's offer to join the band, he emerged with a band distinguished from its lead singer by all caps, like a shout — DAUGHTRY. This, we were asked to believe, was not a cookie cutter pop project assembled by 19 Entertainment, with help from superproducers like Max Martin, but a real deal modern rock project — something to give the Nicklebacks and Shinedowns a run for their money. And that's pretty much how it's gone. DAUGHTRY sold more rock albums than anyone else in 2007, and this year, with the release of “Leave This Town,” Chris Daughtry became the first “Idol” to release two albums that debuted at number one. Expect there to be an arena full of people ready to fist pump. Theory of a Deadman and CAVO open. LM.

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