Classically trained violinist Carrie Rodriguez started singing seriously only after a chance encounter with songwriter Chip Taylor, with whom she eventually put out several collaborative albums. Her affecting voice is sly, often languorous with sultry shadings, sometimes sliding into atmospherics but also honing a countrified edge; a charming cross between Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams. Rodriguez's previous solo efforts increasingly showcased her own songwriting and de-emphasized her fiddle, even while defining a sophisticated roots sound mingling country, folk, and jazz. Her new one, Love and Circumstance, is all covers from those who have inspired her, including father David Rodriguez's "When I Heard Gypsy David Sing" and great-aunt Eva Garza's "La Puñalada Trapera," an emotion-fraught ballad brilliantly etched with the help of Greg Leisz's pedal steel and Hans Holzen's electric guitar. The other covers, linked by a ragged theme of love, range widely from Hank, Merle, and Townes to Richard Thompson and M. Ward, varying from a full-band jaunt on Julie and Buddy Miller's "Wide River to Cross" to a plaintive "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" featuring only Rodriguez's voice and mandolin and Bill Frisell's evocative guitar. This co-bill reunites Rodriguez and the impressive Twin Cities-based Americana-Irish pop quartet Romantica, who have toured together widely in the past, often joining one another onstage. 18+.
Fri., May 7, 7 p.m., 2010
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