John Moreland and Aaron Lee Tasjan eschew modern country gimmicks for authenticity at the Social


  • Curtis Wayne Millard
  • Aaron Lee Tasjan
As mainstream country music stagnates into a cesspool of truck commercials, dirt roads and anti-intellectual propaganda, young songwriters have had to adopt the label of "Americana" to distinguish themselves from an art form that is increasingly all hat, no cattle. Two rising stars of that talented fringe movement stop into the Social this week for a show that's 100 percent pure country gold. John Moreland, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, turns out the kind of forlorn solo ballads that go perfectly with 3 a.m. whiskey-fueled heartaches. He has a knack for inserting a turn of phrase or metaphor into a song that can cut the listener to the bone in an instant. Slightly sunnier, though no less brilliant, is Aaron Lee Tasjan, a 30-year-old songwriter, poet and guitarist who has managed to add stints with bands as diverse as Drivin' N' Cryin' and the New York Dolls to his résumé. Tasjan's migration to Nashville in 2013 has resulted in his strongest material, with songs like "East Nashville Song About a Train" and "Florida Man" becoming underground favorites. All due apologies to Garth Brooks, but this is going to be the country show of the season.

with Mike Dunn | 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2 | The Social, 54 N. Orange Ave. | 407-246-1419 | | $12-$15


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