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Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Marty Willson-Piper takes a hands-on approach to his career these days. He keeps watch over the business dealings of his longtime band, The Church, and micromanages every aspect of his solo career and many side projects. He spends as much time behind the merch table as he can, and for the current tour behind his new album, Nightjar, he’s selling homemade EPs he burned to CD-R himself. He even designed the artwork. Of course, he honed his business acumen the hard way. “Ohhh,” he moans when considering what his life would be like had he been as involved behind the scenes during The Church’s early years. “I’d be dining at the Ritz right now!
Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tonight @ Shank Hall - 8 p.m.

An 8 p.m. bill at Shank Hall tonight offers a little bit of something for everyone. Headliners Blue Mountain, of Mississippi, play ragged blues in the spirit of the Delta masters who would later record for Fat Possum Records, like Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside. Their sound is dirty, simple and driven by a hard . . .
Friday, May 2, 2008

Tonight @ Shank Hall - 8 p.m.

Robbie Fulks, one of many fruitful singer-songwriters to emerge from Chicago’s ’90s alt-country scene, is nothing if not multifaceted. He loves stripped-down, sparse country, but he also likes hard-driven roots rock. He writes silly country toss-offs, but he also writes serious ballads. He has an ambitious concept album . . .
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This Week in Milwaukee

Kathleen Edwards w/ The Last Town Chorus @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m. Canadian alt-country songstress Kathleen Edwards has become a favorite of the “World Caf” set since her lauded 2003 release, Failer.
Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tonight @ Shank Hall - 8 p.m.

Canadian alt-country songstress Kathleen Edwards has become a favorite of the “World Café” set since her lauded 2003 release, Failer. Subsequent offerings have seen her build on that album’s rollicking yet melodic sound. Her latest, Asking for Flowers, a record that moves far beyond the empty lyrical patriotism . . .
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tonight @ Shank Hall - 8 p.m.

Though he is one of many on the long list of artists afflicted by Bob Dylan comparisons, folk singer Steve Forbert hasn’t let that restricting, critically anointed parallel stop him from churning out dozens of thoughtful, distinctly individualistic folk records over his long career. Forbert is touring behind last year’s Strange . . .
Wednesday, April 23, 2008

This Week in Milwaukee

Intertwined melodies in the spirit of Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons are spread across husband-and-wife duo Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion’s Exploration, their most recent set of originals, which they recorded with members of Son Volt and The Jayhawks.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tonight @ Shank Hall - 8:00 p.m.

A Woodstock, N.Y., band with a search-engine-defying name, 3—or is it spelled Three? There’s no consensus on this, even from the band’s own camp—head to Shank Hall tonight for an 8 p.m. show. The group’s latest album, The End Is Begun, is a collection of charged, youthful prog-rock with flashes of Porcupine . . .
Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tonight @ Shank Hall - 8:00 PM

The Gourds, the honk-tonk lovin’, old-school country revivin’ Austin group that scored a novelty hit with their ultra-twangy cover of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice”—and yes, it was The Gourds that recorded this infamous version; not, as some Internet sources have claimed, Phish—bring their Texan charm and sometimes . . .
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tonight @ Shank Hall - 8:00 PM

The Chicago-by-way-of-Hawaii jam/folk/pop/world music ensemble Poi Dog Pondering has kept a low profile in recent years, but this month they returned with a new album, 7, which adds a healthy dash of soul to their already eclectic sound. They’ll cover plenty of material from that album when they play an 8 p.m. . .

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