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Butch Hancock 

  Troubadour Butch Hancock hails from the Lubbock, Texas, music scene that also gave the world Joe Ely and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, his equally eclectic colleagues in the Flatlanders. His music suggests a merger of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan. Earthy and direct, rooted in various country and folk styles, Hancock is by turn scathing and political — "Playin' with war toys turns into a full-time occupation/ I guess the less said the better 'bout a kinder, gentler nation ..." — or poignant. Such latter moments reflect the cosmic/spiritual perspective of what's been called "West Texastentialism":

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  "Centuries ago we were living on the gold coast

  She was still in love with a long gone cold ghost

  I was only trying to turn back the tide of her tears

  I felt like an endless ocean rolling through the fog

  Full emotion drifting like a weather beaten log

  I even thought that I out-thought her

  Til she said 'babe you're just a wave, you're not the water.'"

  All of which is to say nothing of Hancock's exquisitely quirky humor and clever wordplay and his penchant for shameless puns and shaggy-dog stories. He's one of contemporary music's most entertaining raconteurs, and his last visit to New Orleans was in 2000, so this show is a rare treat. Call for ticket information. — Ben Sandmel

Dec. 9

Butch Hancock

8 p.m. Thursday

Chickie Wah Wah, 2828 Canal St., 304-4714;

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