Upstate, Jonah Smith play The Knick Saturday

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The good thing about naming your band Upstate is that, no matter where in the U.S. you play — with the exception of the District of Columbia — crowds will show up in "support the locals" fashion because they think the name refers to THEIR state.

"Hey, a band called Upstate's playing. Let's go see them!"

"Hell, yeah! Where are they from? Hartford?"

It turns out Upstate, which performs Friday at the Knickerbocker Music Center in Westerly, isn't from Connecticut — or Rhody, for that matter. They in fact hail from New York's Hudson Valley, but their folk/pop/roots influences are so wide-ranging you could ascribe a lot of geographies to the group. Featuring three front-women, dazzling harmonies, and a solid string-band rhythm section, Upstate ultimately sound like their infectious selves. Listen to their new CD, "Healing," and become entranced.

Los Angeles' Jonah Smith, a sensational songwriter of narrative depth and harmonic sophistication, co-headlines. His catalog includes impressive albums like "Little Known Cure" and "Stay Close."

Upstate and Jonah Smith, 8 p.m. Friday, Knickerbocker Music Center, 35 Railroad Ave., Westerly; $17; (401) 315-5070.  


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