[Carrie Clark and the Lonesome Lovers play the Triple Door Sunday evening, March 3. Shenandoah Davis opens. Tickets, $12 in advance and $15 night-of-show, are still available. Doors at 6:30; show begins at 7:30. This is an all-ages event.]
Sure, there are a lot of musicians in Seattle playing roots-tinged music. And more than a few local artists know how to throw a pinch of cabaret theatricality into their sonic mix. But singers who can swing from weepy cry-in-your-beer country to deft continental jazz ballads on a dime? They don't grow on trees, to be certain.
Seattle singer/songwriter Carrie Clark is one of those standouts, and local audiences will get a chance to hear her and her band, the Lonesome Lovers, in fine form this Sunday at one of this city's classiest live venues, The Triple Door.
Unlike most bands that use country and folk as jumping-off points, Clark and the Lonesome Lovers never stay in one place musically for too long, and that's one of their charms. Their 2011 full-length release, Between the Bedsheets and Turpentine, reflects that versatility while still retaining its singer's distinctive voice.
Clark's affecting trill anchors the folky "I'm a Lark," and "Where Are You" evokes closing time at a honky tonk, what with Clark's melancholy lyrics and a gently-plucked mandolin. But "Forgotten Time" shakes up its classic country style with faintly stormy guitars in waltz time, while "What Have We Done" sports a swaggering backbeat and axework from guitarist Greg Fulton that flat-out snarls. "Bum Bah Dum" and "Chilly Winds" sound like Brecht/Weil music hall tunes sung by a country pixie, and "It Burns" (true to its title) smolders with almost gothic tinges. Finally, you're unlikely to hear a so-called roots band wear an anthemic coat of psychedelic colors as majestically as Clark and the Lovers do on the sublime "Down at My Knees."
The band's Triple Door gig will also mark their last live performance until late summer, while Clark takes time off to accommodate the arrival of her first child in April. That means Sunday's performance won't just gift fans with some great music: It'll provide some seed money for the baby-sized hearing protection gear Clark will surely need at future Lonesome Lovers live shows.
Ye Olde Seattle Concerts Examiner's mantra of early arrival also resolutely applies in the context of the evening's opener, Shenandoah Davis. A gifted pianist and singer whose oddly-stirring croon and keyboard skills have enriched local ensemble Grand Hallway as well as her fine solo work, Davis's chamber-pop tinged, unpredictable songs should provide a terrific warm-up.