Matthew Houck's decade-long run as Phosphorescent has seen him set his cracked twang to both tried-and-true cowboy sounds with 2009's Willie Nelson tribute album To Willie, and electronics-accented ambient-folk fare as found on 2007's Pride. This year's Muchacho represents a new high-water mark, incorporating intriguing electronic textures smoothly into a surprisingly poppy 10-song set. Whether favoring a fuller sound as on the hopped-up honky-tonk of "A Charm/A Blade" or stripping things down to their essence on the drum-machine-driven ballad "Song for Zula," Houck hits the melodic bull's-eye throughout. With Strand of Oaks.
Fri., April 12, 8 p.m., 2013