Revisiting a relatively staid live recording from the Cedar from three years ago is a reminder that prodigious Caroline Smith's performances have grown considerably more potent over the years. Whether she's in the middle of a quieter moment like "Eagle's Nest" or rising above the surge of "Scholarships," two standouts from 2011's Little Wind, Smith's punching harder all the time. Recently, her full-throated voice reached a new peak on this year's Minnesota Beatle Project, Vol. 4. With the Good Night Sleeps' able backing, the blond songstress gave "Cry Baby Cry" a soulful revamp, and hearing her reprise that vocal alone is reason enough to attend. Add the neo-soul fusion of Mankwe Ndosi, who dropped one of 2012's best with Science & Spirit, and it's an imperative to show up early.
Thu., Jan. 10, 7 p.m., 2013