Mike Craver, Bill Hicks and Jim Watson (along with the late Tommy Thompson) defined the Red Clay Ramblers from the early 1970s through mid-’80s. The band excelled at old-time country and bluegrass, with jazz and swing flourishes, along with original songs that blended seamlessly. Audiences might hear the rousing fiddle tune “Rabbit in the Pea Patch” alongside the cleverly sardonic “Merchant’s Lunch,” a Carter Family classic; or Thompson’s inviting baritone warming hearts with his own “Hot Buttered Rum.” Thompson passed away in 2003, but his spirit lives on in the banjo playing and singing of local musician Joe Newberry. Craver, Hicks, Watson and Newberry come together Friday night for a concert at the Cary Theater. More information at sixstringpresents.com.