Cindy Lee Berryhill | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Cindy Lee Berryhill

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San Diegan folk-rocker Cindy Lee Berryhill's voice reminds me of a cat in the alley. That may not sound like much of a recommendation, but consider how when you lie half awake on a summer night, cats down in the alley can make really scary and fascinating noises. Sometimes they sound like crying babies. But Berryhill isn't just scary and fascinating; she's funny, too. Along with a few others (Phranc, the Balancing Act, the Proclaimers, Mojo Nixon) she's doing something that sorely needs to be done: putting the muscle back into urban folk music. Imagine a less self-important Patti Smith gone acoustic, oozing pain and chaotic excess--born of youthful high spirits--all over the place, riding a raw groove (dig that upright bass!) straight into your brain. I haven't heard Berryhill live yet, but I very much doubt the down-to-the-bone production on her recent debut, Who's Gonna Save the World?, hides much. She isnt necessarily doing anything all that new, but she manages to make it sound new--always a good strategy. Wednesday, Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison; 327-1662.

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