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The Swell Season w/Justin Townes Earle 

When: Tue., May 18, 7 p.m. 2010
Price: $29.50-$45.50
Combining modal folk-rock, yearning vocals and soul-inflected guitars, The Swell Season’s 2009 release Strict Joy amounted to a European version of Americana. Irish singer Glen Hansard and Czech pianist Markéta Irglová (the co-stars of the surprise indie-film smash Once) crafted patient and sometimes dolorous songs about the way the world — and romantic love — can trap the unsuspecting. When they found a suitable musical equivalent to their confusion and compulsion in compositions such as “The Verb,” Hansard and Irglová sounded unbeatable. Sharing the bill is Justin Townes Earle, who believes in the received wisdom of the American folk tradition. On last year’s Midnight at the Movies, Earle fashioned his strongest collection yet. Covering Paul Westerberg’s “Can’t Hardly Wait” and writing arresting originals on the order of “Halfway to Jackson,” Earle pulled off a synthesis of Sun Records-style rockabilly and Piedmont blues. He’s a natural star whose intelligence and impeccable taste make him an exemplary neo-folkie.
— Edd Hurt


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