Mother Banjo/Vicky Emerson

Local Americana-leaning singer-songwriters Mother Banjo and Vicky Emerson — joined by their respective bands — team up for a dual album-release celebration at the Dakota. The new one from Mother Banjo, who goes by Ellen Stanley in her gigs as Red House Records publicist and KFAI radio host, is a tasty excursion into rootsy gospel called The Devil Hasn't Won. Offering an array of philosophical originals, nuggets from Dave Carter and Eric Peltoniemi, plus standards "Wade in the Water" and "Go Tell It on the Mountain," Devil thrives on the spare eloquence of Stanley's open, slyly nuanced voice, which bends and creaks with emotion as it flirts with a gospel chorus and finely wrought, earthy arrangements. Emerson, who recently moved back to the Twin Cities, recorded her latest, Dust & Echoes, at Minneapolis's Library Studio last July. Her songs thoughtfully reflect on love and loss, a bit melancholy but with graceful turns of phrase and affecting, country-tinged melodies that her lovely, hushed voice brushes with emotion.
Fri., Jan. 25, 8 p.m., 2013

 
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