Judson Claiborne, Daniel Knox, GP Folk*Hathaway, Keys | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Judson Claiborne, Daniel Knox, GP Folk*Hathaway, Keys Soundboard Recommended

When: Sat., Dec. 20, 10 p.m. 2008

The Keys are a one-man band, and that one man is Frenchman Boris Paillard, who plays guitar, sings, and sometimes takes a harmonica or a saxophone for a spin. I’ve heard tracks from his two latest releases, the EP Earth Is My Only Homeland and the LP The Broken Bridges, and though they’re laden with contributions from talented friends—Fabrice Bihain really rocks the Ian Anderson-style flute on “A Rock in This Mountain”—the songs are all fieldstrippable and busker portable. Like Dylan, Paillard has a weird voice—nasal, wobbly, a little ragged—but deploys it defiantly, singing with a poetic intensity reminiscent of Leonard Cohen and an unself-­consciousness that makes me think of Jad Fair. It’s an unsettling and mesmerizing combination. Judson Claiborne headlines; Daniel Knox, GP Folk*Hathaway, and the Keys open. —Monica Kendrick

Price: $8

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