John Doe, Amy LaVere All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Sat., Nov. 26, 8 p.m. 2011

In the press materials for his most recent solo album, Keeper (Yep Roc), John Doe talks about how hard it is to write songs about being happy—but on the opening track, "Don't Forget How Much I Love You," he sounds appealingly at peace, tapping into deep-rooted contentment rather than heel-clicking giddiness. Much of the tune describes the pleasures of a day spent outdoors: "Looking for pictures in the clouds / Lying on our backs / Watching creatures pass." Despite his openness to such simple joys, though, Doe is no Pollyanna, and on other songs he grapples with adulthood and its compromises. In "Walking Out the Door" the narrator is in a long-­distance relationship that's most passionate during separations. On "Moonbeam," a retro-sounding ballad with piano tinkling that might as well have been swiped from the Flamingos' "I Only Have Eyes for You," the singer drifts in and out of a dream about a woman who's no longer by his side, his reveries dashed by either the sunrise or a baby crying in the next room. There's also a twangy take on a gem by Doe's long-running band X, "Painting the Town Blue," which is just as energetic as the original. A strong group of players joins him tonight, including Dead Rock West's Cindy Wasserman on vocals and Bloodshot artist Maggie Bjorklund on pedal steel. —Peter Margasak Amy LaVere opens. For more, see Artist on Artist.

Price: $25, $23 members, $21 seniors and children

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