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Seasoned by a childhood on a Connecticut tobacco farm, fortified by a lengthy period absorbing the unique vibe of the Oakland/Berkeley area, and, most recently, embraced by the Nashville Underground, vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Richard Ferreira is poised to break on through. He possesses a thrilling voice and creates music that makes you think of Van Morrison, Elvis Costello in King of America mode, and the late Rick Danko, with subtler shadings of folks like Tony Joe White and Dan Penn in the seams.

Ferreira's album Somewhereville--some of it blessed with horns, all of it certified soulful--was, to my ears, one of the best releases of last year, right up there with Solomon Burke's Don't Give Up on Me. I just wish more people had heard it. But that's the way it seems to go when you're working on a limited budget and with limited distribution, when publicity is handled not with fancy press packs and Rolling Stone ads but by word of mouth. Therefore, hats off to the Manbites Dog Music series for giving you the opportunity to check out Ferreira. (And in a savvy bit of casting, local roots-soul guy Kenny Roby opens the show.) Trust these words from my mouth: go see Richard Ferreira and buy his record.

The show is Saturday, June 28, at the Manbites Dog Theater on 703 Foster St. in Durham, near the old Durham Bulls ballpark. Tickets are $12, and show time is 8 p.m. To make reservations or for more information, call 682-3343. Online ticket purchasing is available at --Rick Cornell

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