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Friday, February 25, at Mary Jane's Fat Cat, 4216 Washington Avenue, 713-869-5263. Hilary Sloan, with Dale Watson

Music remains a family business, but today's meddling mom-and-dad managers too often take a fiscal rather than instrumental interest in their offspring's careers. Hilary Sloan's parents pointed her toward the stage by making her a preteen player in their traveling band. At age eight, she was playing her fiddle at bluegrass festivals and rodeos. In a mild case of child-star rebellion, she briefly flirted with heavy metal in high school while setting traditional honky-tonk sounds on the shelf. But like the heroes of the genre's happier tunes, Sloan returned to her true love, playing authentic country alongside Bill Monroe before taking center stage in Aunt Erma's Filling Station (named, aptly, after a real-life relative's stomping grounds). Sloan's voice trembles gracefully during high notes, like a climber's flag billowing at a mountain's peak. To complement her own stunning compositions, Sloan fancies clever covers that shine rhinestone-bright glory on some overlooked pioneers of Texas twang. For example, "Some Forgotten Sunday" uses engagingly melodic verses to build to a fiddle frenzy that works as a wordless chorus. -- Andrew Miller

Friday, February 25, at the Continental Club, 3700 Main, 713-529-9666.

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