It may seem in direct defiance of the laws of nature for a female singer and songwriter to give her deft pop-rock a pronounced rootsy hue, even as she idolizes the antithesis of all things country and folk that is Elton John. But Brandi Carlile seems perfectly comfortable embodying that contradiction. She managed to make room for both impulses on her latest Rick Rubin-produced album, Give Up the Ghost: Elton John is her duet partner during Caroline, and Dying Day feels just right powered by a train beat. Another idol of Carliles Indigo Girl Amy Ray harmonizes on the jumbo-sized hook of Looking Out, and is currently opening her shows. (On tours when both halves of the Indigo Girls are present, Carlile has opened for them.) Its a good match: Carlile gives her belting an aggressive edge (quite a voice she has), while Ray emphasizes her more punkish solo side.
Tue., Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m., 2010