Angela James of Tennessee opens for the Carolina Chocolate Drops in Chicago tonight.

If you're one of many Chicagoans who dropped some major cash on one of summer's high-price tickets  (see our Summer Music Guide for a curated list), Chicago's plethora of free concerts probably sounds pretty appealing right now. Here are three to get excited about:

Carolina Chocolate Drops and Angela James

With her pedal steel-soaked tunes and a Tennessee-raised alto voice, Angela James (pictured) is a local gem of country balladry. James opens for Carolina Chocolate Drops, the (surprisingly young) old-time string band who already have a Grammy under their belts. 6/24 at 6 at Pritzker Pavilion.

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival

The lineup for this Logan Square fest emphasizes latin-infused musical acts. Afro-Colombian roots-rock outfit M.A.K.U. Soundsystem, possible the most anticipated act of the weekend, played at at last year’s Square Roots Fest showcasing its electrifying palette of jazz, hip hop, and Colombian folk roots. 6/28—30 Milwaukee and Kedzie.

Lincoln Park Arts and Music Festival

This festival lineup features lots of local talent but don't miss Al Scorch followed by the Giving Tree Band on Saturday. 6/29 and 30. Racine and Fullerton.