A live performance by the Brass Kings needs to be experienced to be appreciated. The local trio channel generations of American roots music with their unique takes on folk and bluegrass, with Steve Kauol playing elliptical Ry Cooder- and Steve Earle-inspired resonator guitar while bandmates Brad Ptacek and Mikkel Beckmen work furiously at their washtub bass and assorted household utensils. Whipping up high-octane renditions of traditional and original pieces, the Brass Kings play with a sense of humor typical of contemporary bluegrass musicians and a down-home abandon that invariably gets the crowd moving. The Cedar's spacious environs are ideally suited to these shows, so it's virtually inevitable that the Kings would choose to collect a series of recordings from the venue on their newest album, Live Humdinger, which they're releasing tonight. That way you can experience the real deal, then take home the closest thing you can get to the real deal as an artifact from the show. With special guests. All ages.
Fri., Feb. 26, 7 p.m., 2010