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in pickin' strings 

Like succulent BBQ, some of the region's finest attributes have been around for so long that we take them for granted. Take guitarist Scott Sawyer, to wit, the state's tastiest 6-string bender this side of Deep Gap's Arthel "Doc" Watson. Triangle-based, Sawyer has been honing his craft for eons, playing venues of every description, from pricey supper-clubs to beer-soaked dives and--as Nnenna Freelon's preferred picker--prestigious venues around the world. Though Sawyer can swing cerebrally, solving prickly harmonic riddles like a mathematician, he's at his best as a blue-collar improviser, combining earthy jazz and accessible blues that make the listener wanna holler. My fave Sawyer-led combo is "Go There," a rockin' power trio fueled by the percolating backbeat of Kenny Soule (ex-Nantucket) and the bass rumble of Bobby Patterson. The band's four-date mini-tour of North Carolina stops at The Pour House in Raleigh on Saturday, June 19. Take my advice: Go There--or be square! 8 p.m. $6. --Joe Vanderford

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