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A band to watch

Handsome Jack

Members: Jamison Passuite (vocals/guitar), Joe Verdonselli (bass/vocals), Phil Allport (organ/guitar) and Chad Salmeri (drums).

Next Up: The band celebrates the release of its new EP with a show on July 10 in Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.). Handsome Jack's guests will include Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers, Johnny Nobody and Reverend Soapbox & the Rabble Rousers.

Why?: Since first emerging into the Buffalo indie-rock scene in 2005, Handsome Jack has led the wave of "new-heavy" bands filling area original music clubs. Its aggressive, hard-blues/psychedelia hybrid might be likened to current buzz bands in the mold of the Black Keys, or various projects involving White Stripes leader Jack White.

"Prologue E.P.," the band's forthcoming effort, is its fourth spread across a rather prolific five-year history. During that time, the quartet has toured the country a number of times, all without the help of a record label or booking agent. Which makes them more "indie" than most of us will ever manage to be. More significantly, Handsome Jack has the goods. The group's blend of junkyard howl, blues-based strut and genuine songcraft makes it one of the more exciting ensembles to hail from Buffalo in some time.

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