■ 5 p.m. June 27 at Francisco's Farm Arts Festival at Midway College, Midway. $5. (859) 846-4049. www.franciscosfarm.org.
■ 8 p.m. June 27 at The Brick Alley, 25 St. Clair St., Frankfort. $10. (502) 875-2559. www.myspace.com/thebrickalley.
The question this weekend isn't so much "Who's your daddy?" but rather "Who's this Daddy?"
Daddy, as it pertains to a pair of regional performances Saturday, is the name of a resourceful Americana outfit fronted by Will Kimbrough and Sturgis native Tommy Womack. Both have been regulars at Lexington clubs, from Kimbrough's rocking dates at The Dame during the past four years to Womack's days in and out of Government Cheese that go back decades to downtown shows at the long-defunct Wrocklage.
Daddy, though, is a different beast. It's a looser, earthier ensemble with strong elements of twang, soul and gospel cool. There also is a healthy roster of inspirations figuring into the band's new album, For a Second Time.
Nobody From Nowhere, for instance, is a moody everyman rocker that recalls the narratives of Steve Earle and Chris Knight, while Wash and Fold cooks up a groove fueled by vintage Little Feat-style slide guitar and a crisp Bo Diddley beat. The killer, though, is Hardshell Case, which grooves with a slow, determined Southern glow and a guitar hook that sounds like Creedence Clearwater Revival. Keyboards then pepper the tune with a spiritual air that almost takes the music to church.
Kimbrough and Womack will perform as an acoustic duo at the Francisco's Farm Arts Festival at Midway College on Saturday afternoon, and then the full band (rounded out by keyboardist John Deaderick, bassist Dave Jacques and drummer Paul Griffith) heads to The Brick Alley in Frankfort that evening.
Steve Earle and Joe Pug
8 p.m. June 27 at Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati. $25, $30, $35, $40. (513) 744-3551. Ticketweb, www.ticketweb.com.
Near the close of his performance here last summer at The Kentucky Theatre — a mind-bending acoustic concert that boasted harmonies from wife Allison Moorer, turntable beats from DJ Neil MacDonald and tunes from the New York-savvy album Washington Square Serenade — Steve Earle told the crowd he already had mapped out plans for his next recording, a tribute to the iconic Texas songsmith Townes Van Zandt.
Ten months later we had Townes, an artful and refreshingly unrefined album of 15 Van Zandt tunes both established (Poncho and Lefty, White Freightliner Blues) and obscure (Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold, Marie), all of which mixed beauty with a bittersweet sense of displacement.
A healthy all-star guest list including Moorer, son Justin Townes Earle (take a wild guess as to whom he is named for), Tim O'Brien, Tom Morello and others helped create the album's soulfully scrappy sound. But hard-core fans of the self-described "hard-core troubadour" know that it's worth the few extra bucks to pick up the two-disc version of Townes. Its second disc consists of 11 Van Zandt gems played demo-style by Earle without accompaniment.
That is also how Earle will perform them — along with music from throughout his own extensive career — on Saturday at Cincinnati's Memorial Hall.
The more ruminative, Dylan-savvy folk of Chicago's Joe Pug will open the evening.