Bend loves its country music, especially the kind of country music that Flint, Michigan, songwriter Whitey Morgan has built his career around. Bearing the torch for Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and other outlaw country artists, Morgan and his band The 78’s got their start in honky-tonks in the Midwest. Extensive tours and accolades from Rolling Stone and NPR would follow, along with five studio albums including this year’s “Hard Times and White Lines,” which retains Morgan’s gritty, down-home storytelling while expanding the band’s sonic palette with funky Southern rock, boogie piano and heartfelt ballads. Morgan and band will perform at Midtown Ballroom on Saturday with fellow country-rocker Alex Williams opening.

Whitey Morgan and The 78’s, with Alex Williams: 8:30 p.m. Saturday, doors open at 7:30 p.m.; $20 plus fees in advance; Midtown Ballroom, 51 NW Greenwood Ave., Bend; midtownbend.com or 541-408-4329.

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