Modesty has always been a cornerstone of acoustic folk music, but these local folkies definitely undersell themselves in their band name. Far from musical also-rans, Consolation Champ have an everyman earnestness that is at once endearing and challenging. Theirs is a free-range sound that can take them from simple, sincere claw-hammer folk to an impassioned, detuned strum that evokes Jeff Magnum at his most plaintive. As Magnum proved, a sour note here and there never hurt anyone, and Consolation Champ's songs are often strengthened by running sharp. Lobos Pattern, their forthcoming new CD, drops tonight at the 400 Bar right before a month-and-a-half-long tour to the Mojave, a place where many a life lesson has been taught by many a spectral half-nude Indian. Here's hoping Consolation Champ leave their "aw shucks" humility in the desert. Hey, it worked for Jim Morrison. With the Builders and the Butchers.18+.
Fri., March 7, 8 p.m., 2008