Wednesday To-Do: Richard Buckner | Rock Candy

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday To-Do: Richard Buckner

Posted By on Wed, May 6, 2009 at 10:08 AM

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RICHARD BUCKNER
8 p.m., Vino's. $10.

Go to this show. Cancel plans. Forget TV. Get a babysitter. Go. To. This. Show. Here's me crossing the line from critically detached to straight giddiness. For the first time ever, Richard Buckner, easily one of the most potent songwriters today, comes to Little Rock. His is a familiar career arc. It starts at obscurity and leaps to minor stardom then again to a major label before falling back to obscurity (or at least an obscure label) and finally resting on cultish fame. The cult celebrates his voice. It's plaintive, but expressive — weary in all possible ways. He's made stylistic shifts, from making music that would sound at home on a Flatlanders album to leaning on looping and jagged guitar figures. But it's his lyrics that win. As you might guess, they're mostly dark, exploring themes like disconnection and loss, but they're leavened by compositional elegance. This is the best kind of stick-with-you music. Though he hasn't put out a new album on his current label, Merge, in more than two years, the label recently reissued three of his albums, “Bloomed,” “The Hill” and “Impasse,” which prompted this tour. It's the best situation for fans and novices alike. Those albums alone span eight years. He's bound to play a little bit of everything. Weeks before he releases his sophomore album, Kevin Kerby opens the show.

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