When maverick cellist Rushad Eggleston left Crooked Still in 2007, the remaining trio added cellist Tristan Clarridge and fiddler Brittany Haas, preserving the low, haunting moan that takes CS's essential bluegrass/string-band sound to another dimension. Haas, meanwhile, provided a sprightly, conspiratorial partner to flirt with Gregory Liszt's eloquent banjo. Along with double-bassist Corey DiMario, CS pushes beyond its core roots sound like something that flickers among chamber folk, jazz-inflected Appalachiana, old-time country, gospel, and blues. Aoife O'Donovan's sultry voice, sometimes a dead-ringer for Alison Krauss's, can be remarkably delicate, but also quite adept at conjuring a chilling edge to characterize the sorrowful laments and murderous tales that dominate the quintet's latest, Still Wicked. She's pretty hot crying the blues, too, as she proves on a remarkable, driving cover of Mississippi John Hurt's "Baby, What's Wrong with You?"—O'Donovan howling while Haas, Clarridge, and Liszt play off one another like Duane Allman and Dickey Betts. With Jake Armerding.
Wed., Sept. 9, 7 p.m., 2009