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3 can't-miss shows: First Ward, Dwayne Gretzky, LeeRon Zydeco benefit

First Ward, 9 p.m. Feb. 9, Nietzsche's (248 Allen St.), $7.

Formally of indie act Son of the Sun and occasionally of alt-rock cover band Kurt & the Loders, Western New York stalwart Zak Ward will bring his most recent project, the hard-driving outfit First Ward, back to the Nietzsche's stage. The group's debut EP "Live at the Raven" dropped back in the fall of 2016.

On hand for the evening's support is guitar-rock act Sonny Baker (with a full band). The fleshed-out quartet fronted by the long-time music wunderkind is fresh off sharing "Steady Heads, Dead Tired," its first proper release as a full piece, last month at Mohawk Place. The EP was distributed through Buffalo-rooted indie label Admirable Traits.

Psych-rock act Deadwolf, also set to perform at the Allentown music hub, is sporting a collection of new tunes as well, having closed out the calendar year with the release of its heady full-length "Heavy Heart."

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Ronnie Fest, 3 p.m. Feb. 10, Sportsmen's Tavern (326 Amherst St.), $20.

The Sportsmen's Tavern will host an afternoon-long benefit for long-time Buffalo musician Ron Davis, the frontman and ringleader of LeeRon Zydeco & the Hot Tamales.

After unexpected medical bills hit the versatile Cajun roots musician during the holiday season, the Amherst Street venue is hoping to provide some much needed relief by donating door proceeds to Davis.

A collection of friends and Sportsmen's regulars including Doug Yeomans, the Willies and Sue Kincaid will be hand on for an afternoon full of music and entertainment.

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Dwayne Gretzky, 7 p.m. Feb. 10, Leopard Lounge (681 Main St.), $14.

Cheekily named Toronto tribute act Dwayne Gretzky is making a return appearance in Buffalo to perform at Town Ballroom's intimate Leopard Lounge.

The nostalgic head rush of a group has spent the better part of the last decade packing clubs across the Toronto area. Not to be pegged down by a certain genre or era of music, the band has been known to perform hits from a variety of name acts like David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and the Strokes.

If you have tried to catch the band in Toronto and failed, then you aren't alone. The group is currently on a ridiculous 100-plus show sell-out streak in its hometown.

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