by Bao Le-Huu
Friday, Sept. 21 – Samantha Crain
with William Elliott Whitmore, Bartender Brian
54 N. Orange Ave.
Thankfully, we don’t really have to work too hard anymore to convert you to the gospel of notable folk-blues anachronism William Elliott Whitmore, whose riveting Dust Bowl hymns simply rattle the soul. But someone you also need to get hip to is transfixing Ramseur Records recording artist Samantha Crain, who’s touring with Whitmore again. Straddling indie and folk, the grounded, graceful music of the young Oklahoma singer-songwriter shows that airy feminine charm need not necessarily devolve into fluff and marshmallow. Her last performance here several years ago was exceptional enough to recommend, but this time she’s debuting songs off her just-finished new album produced by atmosphere-minded indie hero John Vanderslice (slated for release in early 2013). Add the gruff, whiskey’d heartbreak of local alt-country standout Bartender Brian and you’ve got a diverse, high-value bill that you don’t want to sleep on. – Bao Le-Huu