Lead Playboy Kevin Anthony was born and raised in Galveston, Texas, and though he's spent the past four years in Minneapolis, his music is decidedly southbound. Rather than adapt country-western music to marry it with more modern genres like alt-country, Anthony takes a classic approach: The tunes on Anthony's solo debut, North Star, amble and swagger with the ease of a well-tread country singer playing tunes at a Cajun cookout on a hot summer day, with even the most downtrodden songs ("I Miss You," "Surveyors Blues") taking on a rosy hue with the help of galloping snare drums and bouncing fiddles. Anthony is donating part of the proceeds from his album to the rebuilding efforts down south after Hurricane Ike, as his hometown of Galveston was severely affected by the storm. Ever the optimist, Anthony has created a solo album that's a testament to his ability to weather the storms that he has faced in life, both literally and figuratively, which he sums up in a line from "Hurricane Ike": "He tried to wash us away but our roots were strong."
Sun., Jan. 31, 9 p.m., 2010