Paul Burch, Jon Langford, the Horse's Ha | Empty Bottle | Folk & Country | Chicago Reader

Paul Burch, Jon Langford, the Horse's Ha Critic's Choice Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Tue., Sept. 15, 9:30 p.m. 2009

Nashville’s Paul Burch clearly savors the music of the 30s, 40s, and early 50s, when honky-tonk and the blues were still next-door neighbors, but though his sound is old-fashioned he mixes styles with a nonchalance that’s thoroughly contemporary. On his latest album, Still Your Man (Ramseur), he gives Little Walter’s “It Ain’t Right” a Sun Studio-style Memphis shuffle, underlining the common ancestry of rockabilly and the blues, and his catchy, lived-in originals engineer dialogues between genres that have become sealed off from one another over the past four or five decades—a rumba feel pulses through the country number “Honey Blue,” and he sings the 50s-style romantic pop ballad “Vena Amore” in a weathered croon that’s a bit like the one Dylan used on Nashville Skyline. Burch recorded Still Your Man in his own Pan American Sound studio, giving it a spacious, homemade feel that reminds me of Buddy Miller’s records. Burch will play solo for part of his set and with members of the Waco Brothers for the rest; he’s been working on an album with Jon Langford and promises to preview some of those tunes. Langford and the Horse’s Ha open. —Peter Margasak

Price: $10 ($5 limited tickets)

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