Blues harmonica legend James Cotton comes to the Garage (202/331-7123) Friday night, along with Catfish Hodge who's just released a swell retrospective CD of his work. Friday at Phantasmagoria (301/949-8886), local bands Betty Blue, Flinch, Submission and more pay tribute to the New York Dolls and Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers. The 9:30 club gets way down this weekend with the Funky Meters on Friday and George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic Saturday night (202/393-0930).

Honky-tonk gal Mandy Barnett is one of the brightest lights to come out of Nashville in years, and plays Friday night at the State Theatre (703/237-0300), along with locals Ruthie & the Wranglers. Speaking of honky-tonks, it's the 52nd anniversary of a real (tiny) one, JV's in Falls Church (703/241-9504), and all weekend there's fine local country music: Friday it's Dallas Dudley & the Atomic Hillbillies; Saturday it's Ricky Cooper & the Third Shift; and Sunday it's Roy Dixon (who played with Patsy Cline), Bud Arnold, Vernon Santmyer and Pauline Dross. The New Line Brass Band (an expanded version of the fine local band, the Dixie Power Trio) is releasing its debut CD at a show Saturday at Fat Tuesday's (703/385-5717).

Czech avant-garde singer and violinist Iva Bittova will perk up your ears Sunday with the Skampa Quartet at Lisner Auditorium (202/994-1500). Tuesday, curious'n'quirky locals Kowtow Popof release their latest CD, "Eat My Dust" at Chief Ike's Mambo Room (202/332-2211), in the midst of Paul Warren's songwriter showcase at that club. Also Tuesday, New York poet Corey Cokes celebrates his powerful new spoken word CD with a performance at Mangos (202/332-2104).

Thursday, bluegrass legend Del McCoury takes the stage at the State Theatre (703/237-0300), along with excellent local songwriter Randy Barnett. Also Thursday, the Barns of Wolf Trap (703/938-2404) host NewGrange, a "newgrass" supergroup featuring Mike Marshall, Darol Anger, Alison Brown, Todd Phillips, Tim O'Brien and Phil Aaberg. Also Thursday, it's rockabilly queen Kim Lenz & the Jaguars at Paddy Mac's (301/608-3360).