Amoeba San Francisco - October 5th @ 3:00pm
This great British troubadour has been fearlessly belting out workers' rights anthems in the social-justice folk tradition of Woody Guthrie ever since the mid-'80s, often with nothing but the ringing strings of his guitar for a band. In recent years he's waded into the wide waters of Americana, finding inspiration in the melodic traditions of country, blues and gospel, as on his fine collaboration with Wilco, Mermaid Avenue. He is a master storyteller and songcrafter, and his latest album, Tooth & Nail (available on CD & LP), finds him in the studio with Joe Henry for his first new album in five years.
With an elegant backing band featuring pedal steel legend Greg Leisz, he turns out soulful balladry, world-weary dirges and jaunty Kinks-esque romps, and though there's more soul-searching and portraiture than rabble-rousing, there's always a sly jab for the politicians and a kind word for the downtrodden.
Also catch him later that night at the Great American Music Hall.