This year's Fourth of July celebrations throw us a curve ball: Much of the major holiday fun will be Saturday, July 3.
That's especially true of downtown's annual bash, which culminates with the huge Red, White and Boom country concert that we detail on Page 16.
But what if six hours of country music isn't your holiday thing? For you, here are some alternatives big and small.
■ Getting the holiday weekend party rolling Friday night will be Cincinnati funkster Chris Sherman, better known to the groove-music world as Freekbass.
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A disciple of Bootsy Collins, another fabled funk bass guitarist from Cincy, Sherman returns to Cosmic Charlie's, 388 Woodland Avenue, where he has become something of a regular. He played there as recently as April as part of the groove collective Headtronics and is scheduled, according to the Freekbass Web site, for another visit Aug. 4 for a show with percussionist Mike Dillon and saxophonist Skerik. Friday, however, Freekbass takes centerstage. (8 p.m. $8. (859) 209-9499. http://cosmic-charlies.com.)
■ This whole celebrating July 4 on July 3 thing really presents a challenge to our pals at CD Central, who will again present, along with Local First Lexington, its annual Independent Music on Independence Day showcase. This year the six-hour local and regional music marathon at Phoenix Park, Main Street and Limestone, will be staged as part of the downtown festivities that will take place on — and let us underscore this — July 3, as in Saturday.
The lineup includes The Bleats (11 a.m.), Randy Tuesday and the Two Two Tuesdays (noon) and The Ford Theatre Reunion (1 p.m.). After a break for city's parade, the music will resume with The Rough Customers (3:30 p.m.) and Frank Rocket (4:30 p.m.). As always, Independent Music on (almost) Independence Day is (very) free.
■ Feel the need to be part of a serious-size crowd? Then let me suggest the biggest groove party of the weekend, the two-day Waterfront Independence Festival. It will require a trip to Louisville's Waterfront Park, 129 East River Road, for a killer bill Sunday featuring veteran soul/hip-hop brigades Michael Franti and Spearhead and Arrested Development, and ageless R&B diva Bettye LaVette. Gates open at 5 p.m., and the music starts at 6.
Waterfront Park also has a country fest planned Saturday, with John Rich, Cowboy Troy and Tyler Dickinson. Gates open at 5 p.m., and the show is at 6, but Lexington's Red, White and Boom probably already has your Nashville needs covered.
Both Louisville events are free and culminate with — what else? — fireworks. (502) 574-3768. www.waterfrontindependencefestival.com.
■ The locals will heighten their holiday presence beyond the CD Central fest this weekend. On Saturday, the indie-rocking country traditionalists of Sunday Valley will light another fire under Appalachian and vintage Nashville sounds at Buster's Billiards & Backroom, 899 Manchester Street, with The Sundresses from Cincinnati opening. (10 p.m. $7. www.bustersbb.com.)
On Sunday, the ever-industrious Chico Fellini turns back the calendar at Cosmic Charlie's for a full set of David Bowie music that will focus on songs from the longtime British pop star's Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane albums of the early 1970s. (10 p.m. $7.)
The Broken Single life
This one is a bit after the holiday weekend, but the always-engaging rock, neo-gospel and girl-group power pop of Boston's Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles returns to the Green Lantern, 497 West Third Street, on Wednesday.
Borges is touring behind her fine 2009 album on Sugar Hill records, The Stars Are Out, which mixes original works with immensely spirited covers of songs by artists as disparate as Smokey Robinson, The Lemonheads and NRBQ. (9 p.m. $5. (859) 252-9539.)