Back Beat

He luvs this shit: New Orleans hip-hop crooner August Alsina is bringing the “Testimony Live” tour to the WOW Hall Aug. 15. The year 2014 has been big for Alsina; in addition to releasing his debut album Testimony in April, he won BET’s Best New Artist award and the Viewer’s Choice Award for the single “I Luv This Shit,” and was placed on the roster for hip-hop magazine XXL’s Top 10 Freshmen list alongside Chance The Rapper and Ty Dolla $ign. Want to schmooze with Alsina? Nab the “Meet & Greet Package” for a cool $250 and take a “personal photo with August Alsina.” Visit for details.

Don’t miss: the space-glam pop of Austin’s Sphynx, who describe themselves as “like Queen, but with two Freddy Mercurys and also Phil Collins,” Aug. 14 at Sam Bond’s;

the mando, lap steel, piano and soulful vocals of Portland’s Grand Lake Islands Aug. 16 at Axe & Fiddle; the ragtime country of the Dead Winter Carpenters Aug. 21 at Cozmic.

Brownsville, are you ready? The Willamette Country Music Festival will take over the town Aug. 15-17 with the likes of country giants Montgomery Gentry, Gary Allan, Sara Evans (Pictured above), Ashley Monroe, Thompson Square and Blake Shelton. Catch former OSU football player-turned-country singer Kurt Van Meter when he opens the main stage 3 pm Friday, Aug. 15. Van Meter performed his latest single “Good at Bein’ Bad” at Reser Stadium for OSU’s homecoming game last October.