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Friday, May 4, 2012

Leon Redbone

Tonight @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.

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Old-timey music is the new swing revival, with a small movement of young bands dressing up in kitschy, 1930s costumes and puffing out dusty jazz and ragtime songs. They could learn a thing or two, however, from Leon Redbone, the Canadian singer-songwriter who's been playing ragtime and Tin Pan Alley music for more than three decades now (a willful mystery, Redbone cites his birthday as Oct. 29, 1929, but that, of course, is an exaggeration). A former regular on “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson,” Redbone hasn't shown much interest in recording new material—his last studio album was 2001's Any Time; the one before it came out in 1994—but he remains a road warrior, touring behind obscure, vaudevillian relics from the American songbook.