KT Tunstall's local appearance is part of what's being touted as the Scottish singer-songwriter's first full-blown tour of the States. It'll be an unplugged affair, featuring acoustic guitar, mandolin, harmonium, and double bass, confounding—maybe drastically—any expectations that she was about to climb aboard the glitzy star-making machinery. On the cover of last fall's Drastic Fantastic (Relentless/Virgin) she's wielding a spangly guitar and wearing white go-go boots, while several songs inside—especially the dancehall-inspired "Hold On"—sport glistening hooks so tantalizing they'd be a good bet to lure even Nessie out of her loch. But the key to Drastic's allure and a true measure of Tunstall as a savvy artist is how craftily she entwined folk-rock gambols, rootsy tendrils, pungent pop permutations, and a piquant sense that it's all both fun and meaningful. The songs are also peppered with terrific details, ranging from the energetic handclaps of "Hold On" to stray bits of glockenspiel and ukulele, and the darkly intriguing nuances of her voice on the enigmatic "Beauty of Uncertainty." With Irish singer-songwriter Paddy Casey, a former Dublin busker with a penchant for mixing folk and R&B into a pop context.
Wed., May 14, 6:30 p.m., 2008