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April 14 is Good Friday, and throngs of people will be hitting the beach resorts to usher in the Easter holiday weekend.

Friday will also mark the first of the area's annual music festivals.

The long-running Delaware Music Festival will take place Friday and Saturday inside the Rusty Rudder in Dewey Beach. This is the 17th annual festival, and it will feature a total of 17 bands from throughout the state playing styles including rock, blues and country. Admission is free.

The action starts at 9 p.m. Friday, with a half-dozen bands alternating on two stages. One of the highlights is certain to be the 11 p.m. set by Rehoboth Beach's Lower Case Blues, which has been appearing since the festival's early days and commands a large and loyal following.

The Rudder will start rocking quite a bit earlier Saturday, when Love Seed Mama Jump kicks off the second part of the festival at 5 p.m. They will be followed by 10 more bands. To view the full schedule, check out www.deweybeachfest.com.

Looking ahead to next week, the Rudder will continue its series of free country concerts at 9 p.m. Friday, April 28, when Nashville touring artist Julia Cole plays songs including her single, "#GetAwesome." Visit www.rudderlive.com for further details.

Speaking of Lower Case Blues, fans who are early birds will enjoy the fact that the popular trio is now playing each Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Crabcake Factory on eastbound Route 54 in Fenwick Island. The band previously played Thursdays at the former Delaware Distilling Company near Lewes, which closed its doors last month.

A pair of indie-rock bands from opposite ends of the country have teamed up for a 16-date spring tour. The double-bill outing will visit the Dogfish Head brewpub in downtown Rehoboth Beach at 10 p.m. Saturday, April 15. Admission is free. Wild Adriatic is a power trio hailing from Saratoga Springs, New York.The other act, Leopold & His Fiction, is an experimental quartet from Austin, Texas.

Also in Rehoboth, The Pond nightclub has announced the lineup for the annual Hope is Best benefit concert, which supports the Delaware chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). It will take place from 4-8 p.m. Sunday, April 23 with music from Green Means Go, Surreal Nation, Hallelujah Jones & the Sundae Saints and James Prickett.

We'll have more on this event next week.

E-mail Roger Hillis at rogerhillis@gmail.com

This Week's Must-See List

17th annual Delaware Music Festival at the Rusty Rudder in Dewey Beach at 9 p.m. Friday, April 14, and 5 p.m. Saturday, April 15. Free

Johnny Bling at M.R. Ducks in Ocean City at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 15. Free

Leopold & His Fiction with Wild Adriatic at Dogfish Head in Rehoboth Beach at 10 p.m. Saturday, April 15. Free

Transfuzion at B.J.'s On the Water at 9 p.m. Friday, April 14. Free

Lower Case Blues at the Crabcake Factory in Fenwick Island every Thursday at 5 p.m. Free 

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