Known as one of Britain's most formidable guitar slingers for hire, Richard Hawley made a name for himself by serving as a touring member of Pulp, and through cutting session work for the likes of Beth Orton, Robbie Williams, and Nancy Sinatra. Over the past six years, he's also built up a considerable solo catalog as a singer/songwriter, with five solid albums and a Mercury Prize nomination for his 2005 release, Coles Corner. His latest effort, Lady's Bridge, is another sophisticated rock/pop affair marked by Hawley's somber, Scott Walker-like baritone and tender lyrical sensibilities. Named after the oldest bridge in his hometown of Sheffield, England, much of the album seems to draw from the passing of his father, a longtime Teddy Boy and musician, and comments on Hawley's spiritual transition into life without him. For genuinely heartfelt songwriting and flawless rock composition, it doesn't get much better than this. With Ferraby Lionheart. 18+.
Fri., Dec. 7, 7 p.m., 2007