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Mark Your Calendar: Joe Bonamassa
Joe Bonamassa blasts into the Civic Center Nov. 20

Blues guitarist extraordinaire Joe Bonamassa brings his band to the Savannah Civic Center's Johnny Mercer Theatre Nov. 20. That's quite a ways off, but tickets ($49-$79) are on sale now.

Called "A certifiable blues guitar hero and the face of his blues generation" by Guitar Edge, Bonamassa is seen by many as the heir apparent to Cream-era Eric Clapton, and (Bonamassa's childhood hero) Stevie Ray Vaughan. The readers of Guitar Player named him the world's best for three years running.

A professional guitarist since he was a little kid (shades of Derek Trucks), the New York-born Bonamassa was just 12 when he first opened a show for B.B. King.

He and King trade off on Willie Nelson's classic "Night Life," a track from Bonamassa's 2009 album, Black Rock. That same year, he shared the Albert Hall stage with Clapton.

Bonamassa has a new one, Dust Bowl, which goes beyond blues to include duets with hot-picking guitar heroes John Hiatt and Vince Gill.

Short takes

@ Tickets are on sale now for an August 20 Johnny Mercer Theatre concert with R&B crooner Brian McKnight, with Anthony David. They're $45-$75.

@ One of Savannah's favorite imports, American Aquarium, will open the Corey Smith show July 14 in the Johnny Mercer Theatre.

@ In more onsale news, you can now get tickets ($20-$34) for a Sept. 20 Hot Club of San Francisco show in the Lucas Theatre. This is live gypsy jazz played to accompany vintage silent films.

@ Hot-dog bluegrass band due at Randy Wood Guitars July 30. The Box Cars include pickers with collective stints in Alison Krauss & Union Station (Adam Steffey, John Bowman), J.D. Crowe & The New South (Ron Stewart, John Bowman, Harold Nixon), Blue Moon Rising (Keith Garrett and Harold Nixon), The Isaacs (John Bowman) and most recently The Dan Tyminski Band (Steffey and Stewart). Tickets are $25.

@ From the wide, wide world of records comes the news that Class Actress, the synth-pop group that so astonished everyone during the Savannah Stopover in March, has a full-length (Rapproacher) coming out in October. Love the '80s dance grooves, very trance-y and alluring. Super-sexy vocalist Elizabeth Harper and company have made the advance single, "Keep You," at

@ There's a new one from Wilco coming, too. Jeff Tweedy produced The Whole Love, out Sept. 27 on dBpm Records. Along with "I Might," which is already out, the album includes the seven-minute "Art of Almost" and concludes with the 12-minute "One Sunday Morning (Song For Jane Smiley's Boyfriend)." On the day the album's released, Wilco's fall tour brings them to the Raleigh Amphitheatre; on Sept. 28 and 29, the band plays the Cobb Energy Center in Atlanta.

@ Speaking (as I was a minute ago) of the Stopover, one of the coolest bands that played here, Country Mice, returns to the Jinx July 30, opening for the Whigs.