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Rodney Crowell, Jenny Scheinman, Will Kimbrough 

When: Fri., Oct. 3, 7 p.m. 2008
Since giving the slip to the soul-sucking Nashville machine at the start of this decade, Rodney Crowell has written some of his greatest, most personal songs. But there are moments on his latest album, the Joe Henry-produced Sex & Gasoline (Yep Roc), where his normally healthy sense of righteous indignation becomes overbearing. Try not to wince during “Closer to Heaven,” a manifesto for being true to oneself, when he sings, “I’m offended by buzzwords / Like awesome and dude.” But Crowell’s aim is sharper on most of the record, where his yearning for human decency and honesty elicits some real, raw sentiment. On “The Rise and Fall of Intelligent Design,” for instance, he takes the macho nature of world politics personally: “So here’s the world in the palm of my hand / How come I’m feeling so tender? / It’s a man’s world—I’ve heard it since birth / I’m out of touch with my gender.” Crowell will be backed here by guitarist Will Kimbrough, who also opens the show with his own set, and violinist Jenny Scheinmann, a top-notch jazzer who’s been exploring her singer-songwriter side lately. —Peter Margasak

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