Teddy Thompson –
“A Piece of What You Need”
(Verve Forecast) ****
Thompson performs at 8 p.m. Sept. 4 at
Visulite Theatre with Tift Merritt. $16. 704-358-9200.
If you saw London-born Teddy Thompson open for the Cowboy Junkies last year, you might expect his upcoming show to feature more of the same type of classic country-leaning solo-acoustic work.
But his fourth album is actually a full-bodied orchestral pop album that easily skips from the upbeat adult rock of Crowded House to Chris Isaak-like crooning to Son Volt-meets-Shawn-Colvin-style Americana, with an English twist.
With eclectic arrangements (carnival keys on “In My Arms”; bouncy, full-band piano-rock of “What's This!!!?”; horns on “Where to Go From Here” and “Can't Sing Straight”), the clever songwriter creates a lovely, memorable collection.
Ten Out of Tenn –
“Compilation Volume 2”
(Ready Set Records) ***
This group of Tennessee songwriters performs at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Wednesday at Evening Muse. $12-$14. 704-376-3737.
Nashville isn't hurting for songwriters, so it's not surprising that this effort – the second of its kind – springs from Music City. What's impressive about this collection and its subsequent tour is the quality of the work. Plus, these aren't country artists.
There are beautiful pop voices (Matthew Perryman Jones, Eric McCarley); progressive melodic pop (Katie Herzig); symphonic rock (K.S. Rhodes, Tyler James); darker rock (Butterfly Boucher); and the folk-based material you'd expect from a songwriter's tour (Griffin House).
Both the concert and album give listeners a chance to sample several acts, giving you an idea of who you'd like to sit through for an hour on their next trip to town.