Music News & Reviews

Bolt for Son Volt

Son Volt and Cary Hudson

8:30 p.m. Aug. 7 at the Southgate House, 23 East Third St. in Newport. $20, via (859) 431-2201.

With a wonderfully dour new album called American Central Dust in stores, Jay Farrar and his newest Son Volt lineup head to Newport on Friday night.

Of course, this brings to mind the question of why the band has continually passed by Lexington the past few years. We managed to get one concert at The Dame out of Farrar and company after their comeback album, Okemah and the Melody of Riot, was released in 2005. But now with a realigned roster that features guitarist Mark Spencer, who accompanied Farrar during an acoustic set at the Christ the King Oktoberfest in 2006, and bassist Andrew Duplantis, last seen here playing behind Alejandro Escovedo at The Dame on the night of a January snowstorm, it seems you have to hit the road to catch Son Volt in action

If you go, go early. Cary Hudson of the recently revitalized Americana rock trio Blue Mountain, will open with a solo set.

The High Strung

8 p.m. Aug. 8 at Al's Bar, 601 N. Limestone. $5. (859) 309-2901.

For nearly a decade, the Detroit indie trio The High Strung has been making appealing pop music derived from a number of vintage inspirations.

The big beat, percussive rolls and orchestral sweep of Bad With My Hands recall the royal pop of the once great Phil Spector. Lyrically, though, the song is more aloof than anything riding out of Spector-ville. But The Lifestyle That Got Away recalls The Kinks on their giddier, late '70s recordings. And then there is the wide-eyed vocal charm of Standing at the Door of Self Discovery, with its cheery '60s Brit pop appeal (the Sell Out-era of The Who comes to mind) and its tough-knuckled detour into Americanized psychedelia.

The High Strung — guitarist/vocalist John Malerman, bassist Chad Stocker and drummer Derek Berk — bring those sounds and songs, all of which come from its fine new album Ode to the Inverse of the Dude, to Al's Bar on Saturday.

This will be the trio's first performance since playing for U.S. troops in Guantánamo Bay last week. "This is no joke," said an entry on the band's MySpace blog before the show. "We're going to Gitmo."


■ 7 p.m. Aug. 11. CD Central, 377 S. Limestone. Free. (859) 233-3472.

■ 8 p.m. The Dame, 367 E. Main St. With Very Emergency and The Love Language. $10. (859) 231-7263.

Think all the road construction on South Limestone has shut down CD Central? Not a chance. Our fave indie record store (which goes without saying, seeing as there really aren't any others around here anymore) has snagged the Omaha trio Cursive for an in-store performance on Aug. 11 ahead of its show later that night at The Dame (with Very Emergency and The Love Language opening).

On its new album Mama, I'm Swollen, Cursive offers a variety of deceptively sunny pop reveries including Mama, I'm Satan and From the Hips. Both tunes mask lyrics that foam at the mouth a bit before blasts of garage-rock frenzy and cowpunk glee take over. Hear for yourself at

And if you're heading to CD Central for the in-store show, it's best to park behind the store on Jersey Street while Limestone is being ripped apart and rebuilt.