Rock Picks

Jason Isbell headlines the week's best rock picks

dmenconi@newsobserver.comJune 27, 2013 

Jason Isbell plays Tuesday at Raleigh's Lincoln Theatre.

COURTESY OF MICHAEL WILSON

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    • Elsewhere: Southern Culture on the Skids will close down the big music room at Raleigh’s Berkeley Cafe in style with a Saturday-night blowout; also Saturday, Goner unveils its excellent new album “Faking The Wisdom” at Durham’s Pinhook, while Indigo Girls play the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh; R&B icons Gladys Knight and the O’Jays play Sunday at Durham Performing Arts Center, while Raleigh’s Pour House has a Community Music School benefit with the school’s Rock Band Ensemble, among others; Connells and The Old Ceremony play a Fourth of July show Thursday at Raleigh Little Theatre, while roots-rock deity Bill Kirchen does the same at Carrboro Town Commons.

Few musicians write lyrics so good that you hardly even notice the music, but Jason Isbell is that caliber – and not because the music is forgettable. Indeed, the 12 songs on Isbell’s fantastic new album “Southeastern” (Thirty Tigers Music) all have admirably spare and sturdy roots-rock arrangements. But it’s the verbiage that’s other-worldly, telling tales in a plain-spoken voice with rather astounding rhymes (“sixteen” with “Benzodiazepine,” for one), imagery and wisdom. It’s a staggering display, and you can hear it live Tuesday at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre. Widowspeak opens at 8 p.m. and tickets are $14 in advance, $17 day of show. See lincolntheatre.com for details.

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