Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley performs Friday at the Birchmere (703/549-7500) with his Clinch Mountain Boys, while that night at Wolf Trap, local boys made huge, everything, perform along with Cowboy Mouth. A similar sounding bill is at the State Theatre (703/237-0300) Friday, with Drivin' & Cryin' and the Gibb Droll Band. At the Black Cat (202/667-7960) that night Scared of Chaka and local buzz band the Rondelles open for the Gunga Din, made up of folks formerly with the Swans, Bad Seeds, God Is My Co-Pilot and Congo Norvell.

Cajun bluesman Roy Carrier performs Saturday at Phantasmagoria (301/949-8886), while that night at IOTA (703/522-8340), catchy Canadian rockers By Divine Right do their thing.

Sunday's July 4 "Backyard BBQ" at 19th & M has a fine musical lineup starting at 11 in the morning with Mudcat Jones and Shades Apart, with later sets from Train, Marvelous 3, Cracker, the Pietasters and a CD-release performance from emmet swimming (202/432-7328). The day-long "Freedom Fest" held in and around the MCI Center on Sunday has its share of fine music, epsecially locals like Citizen Cope, SEV, Jimmie's Chicken Shack, Sampson, Mary Prankster, the Ernies and many more (703/242-3648). The best show however, is at the Sylvan Theatre beginning at 4 p.m.: Shirley Caesar, Ralph Stanley and Tito Puente (202/619-7222).

Monday evening at Lewie's (301/652-1600), Big Joe & the Dynaflows host a musical benefit for Big Joe Maher's father's medical bills, featuring the likes of Tom Principato, the Nighthawks, Bill Kirchen, Kevin McKendree and more. Minnesota popsters the Hang-Ups are back in town Monday at the Galaxy Hut (703/525-8646).