With sweet tone and supple phrasing on the fiddle and a winsome, melancholy singing voice to match, Lexington, KY's Kati Penn ought to be better known. That should change with the release of her upcoming album produced by award-winning resonator guitarist Rob Ickes. Splitting the difference between working with a road band and loading up on guest performers, Ickes and Penn settled on a small crew that included the former's Three Ring Circle bandmates Andy Leftwich (mandolin) and Dave Pomeroy (bass) as well as Grascals banjo man Aaron McDaris. Backing vocalists include Penn's husband Junior Williams (NewFound Road), John Cowan and Jon Randall, whose Louvin-ish duet with Penn on "My Turn To Cry" is one of the album's many highlights. The road band's still working out a few personnel kinks, but it's more than competent, and the front gal's musical self-assurance is more than enough to carry the day.
Sat., Aug. 16, 9 p.m., 2008