Music » Critics' Choices

Will Kimbrough

Thursday, July 10, at Davey's Uptown.

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Offstage, or between songs, Will Kimbrough seems like a quiet, reasonable guy, the kind with whom you might wind up sharing an office if you were lucky. Give him a guitar, an idea and a sharp intake of breath, though, and the man inhabits dozens of fascinating characters, then exhales the kind of stories that make listeners feel as if they just inhaled bottle caps. As Kimbrough growls on his new album Home Away, he's got a filthy mind and choirboy's face, and he can work a guitar, especially a slide, as though his right hand were the most talented helicopter on the planet. He's not all grim, though; Kimbrough can also sing sweetly about missing his kids, painting the new baby's room or just wishing he could be, well, a bit happier. A songwriter's songwriter (Jon Dee Graham's been working his "Goodnight Moon" to wonderful effect lately), Kimbrough's magic act is something you have to witness to believe.

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