Its been a while since the heyday of cabaret, but youd never know it from Rae Herings repertoire. Shes been in Nashville for six years, and her musical surroundings have yet to influence her to lean on guitar jazzy, nimble piano is her thing, and accordion, vibraphone and horns provide accompaniment or to write songs in linear verse-chorus-verse form. On her debut EP, Reality Over My Head, Hering takes her cues from Kate Bush and Liza Minnelli, unfurling scenes and characters that are intended to be larger than life with vivid, theatrical twists and turns. In Top Hat Acrobat, which evokes Astrud Gilberto one minute and Steely Dan the next, she purrs, belts and coos over a suave lounge groove about a fantastical miniature daredevil. Thats a fittingly flexible image for a performer like Hering.
Thu., Feb. 25, 9 p.m., 2010