The trouble with folk legends is that attempts to illuminate them often result in their destruction. Residents of New Jersey used to point to a mountaintop and snidely whisper about the secluded community who'd resided there since the Revolutionary War. Disparagingly called "the Jackson Whites," the recluses were believed to be the descendants of landowning blacks, Dutch settlers, and the odd native tribe member. But local alt-country stalwarts Big Ditch Road go looking for the truth behind the rumors on their latest six-song EP, The Jackson Whites. With a voice like a highway-flattened sheep, frontman Darin Wald moves from the snarling peppy fun of "Waiting to Destroy" to the spacey Built to Spill guitar wash on "All the Way to Idaho." On the chugging title track, Wald's nostalgia-tinged search for the lost tribe races forward on rails of rhythm. In real life, the mountain-dwellers turned out to be a branch of Lenape Indians, but in art, we can keep hoping a less prosaic discovery is right over the horizon. With the Glad Version, Ice Palace, Wapsipinicon.
Fri., Jan. 11, 9 p.m., 2008