From Raleigh, Tonk named itself by removing the first half of "honky-tonk." The outfit makes time-tested country, with its stumbling bass chasing the allure of serene pedal steel. In keeping with Tonk's traditional aesthetic, the Meat portion of this mini-fest is a barbecue-and-beer shindig that will happen on the sidewalk outside Kings. After the food, the frivolity moves inside.
Tonk leads off the night, playing an early set that will allow its members to enjoy the rest of the remarkably fun lineup. Shark Quest is a still-kicking instrumental rock ensemble that emerged in the '90s; their tangled melodies and intersecting musical moods are more about momentum than pretension. The Whom is an occasional collaboration between members of psyched-out rock 'n' roll band Motocaster and Birds of Avalon's Paul Siler, playing Live At Leeds-era Who songs. Last up is Charlotte's Benji Hughes, whose brokenhearted mumblings play perfect over the arena rock of his slick backing band. The food starts at 7 p.m. with music following at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door, and include barbecue. —Jordan Lawrence