Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, Sister Suvi, Samantha Crain & the Midnight Shivers | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, Sister Suvi, Samantha Crain & the Midnight Shivers 

When: Sat., May 9, 9:30 p.m. 2009
Price: $10
It’s possible that Samantha Crain, a 22-year-old native of Shawnee, Oklahoma, has attracted some extra press attention thanks to her Choctaw blood, but her brand-new Songs in the Night (Ramseur) is the kind of debut that can stir up a furor even without a story hook like that. With her unusual voice and slightly mannered enunciation, Crain sounds like a sweeter, more straightforward Joanna Newsom, and her jazzy phrasing reminds me of Erin McKeown; her songwriting, on the other hand, seems inspired mostly by vets like Neil Young and Bob Dylan (the intro to “You Never Know” is awfully similar to parts of “Girl From the North Country”), and her band lays down crisp, understated folk rock behind her. The album isn’t revolutionary, but it’s much more than just the sum of all the influences and reference points I’ve rattled off here—it’s one of the most impressive debuts I’ve heard this year. Thao with the Get Down Stay Down headline; Sister Suvi and Crain open. —Peter Margasak

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