Dan Penn is one of the prime movers of Southern soul, the writer of such indelible classics as Do Right Woman-Do Right Man and The Dark End of the Street and a superb performer in his own right. The Alabama native recorded one of finest examples of Memphis pop, 1973s Nobodys Fool, on which swagger and nostalgia merge with some imaginative Bluff City-meets-Burt Bacharach arrangements. Hes a modestly impeccable singer whose versions of his own compositions might lack the grandiloquence of covers by Aretha Franklin and Esther Phillips, but whose phrasing and humor mark him as one of the genres great exemplars. Penn makes his home in Nashville these days and doesnt play very many shows, so this performance with the equally gifted keyboardist and songwriter Bobby Emmonswho co-wrote Nobodys Fool and many others with Pennought to be very special indeed.
Wed., July 22, 9 p.m., 2009