Generally speaking, we frown on press releases that make us consult Merriam-Websterso when Degenhart's publicist used terroir in a metaphor comparing him to a vintner, his new self-titled release was seconds away from becoming a coffee coaster. Fortunately for my ears, Degenhart's disc got a reprieve. The Philly-born singer-songwriter betrays his roots on this superb six-song collection, which mixes syncopated grooves, horns, layered background vocals and plenty of superb guitar and keyboard work courtesy of co-producers George Marinelli (Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Hornsby) and Cliff Goldmacher. But in addition to City of Brotherly Love soul, there's also a hint of Little Featish bayou grease (One Reason) and Elvis Costello-style piano balladry (Between You and Me). And unlike his hometown sandwich, there's plenty of meat but no cheese.
Thu., April 2, 7 p.m., 2009