Phoebe Hunt with Connor Forsyth
9 p.m. Oct. 10 at Natasha's Bistro, 112 Esplanade Alley. $10. (859) 259.2754
By now, Phoebe Hunt should feel quite at home at Natasha's Bistro.
For years, the indie songstress forged an Americana sound ripe with elements of Western and European swing, gypsy jazz and more in an industrious Austin, Texas, troupe called The Belleville Outfit.
Regular gigs at Natasha's eventually led to a hearty grass-roots following in Central Kentucky. But the time eventually arrived for Hunt to step away from the band. She released a self-titled solo album in 2012. A fine concert recording, Live at the Cactus Café, surfaced last year.
There was moving to deal with, too. With Belleville's breakup, Hunt moved from her longtime Austin digs to Nashville, but she now lives in Brooklyn. Along the way, there have been solo shows at Natasha's to satisfy the Lexington faithful.
Hunt's return this weekend finds her in the company of former Belleville mate and frequent touring companion Connor Forsyth, whose credits include tours with the late country giant Ray Price and stewardship of his exemplary roots band The Ghosts of the Bravos. The Natasha's outing marks the release of a collaborative record — officially billed to Phoebe Hunt and The Gatherers featuring Connor Forsyth — titled Walk with Me.
The ties to the Belleville days are obvious on the album (fellow Outfit alum Marshall Hood helped out on the sessions), but the stylistic scope of songwriting has expanded considerably. Walk With Me's title track, for example, possesses a bright pop sound that brings to mind the late-'70s songs of Paul Simon (Slip Slidin' Away especially comes to mind). For more information on the show at Natasha's, go to Beetnik.com.
Crowe, Lawson and Williams
6:45 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Lyric Theatre, 300 E. Third St., for the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour. $20. (859) 252-8888.
Long before their separate careers established them as defining figures in bluegrass and gospel music, J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson and Paul Williams were Sunny Mountain Boys — meaning they were touring protégés of the artist often referred to as the "King of Bluegrass," Jimmy Martin.
A vocal pioneer who helped the define the mountain tenor singing style known the high lonesome sound, Martin introduced himself to audiences as lead singer for the first major post-Flatt & Scruggs lineup of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys.
The Sunny Mountain Boys surfaced in 1955 with banjoist and Lexington native Crowe and mandolinist Williams featured in what is widely regarded as the strongest band Martin ever fronted. Mandolinist Lawson was featured in two Sunny Mountain Boys lineups during the 1960s. Each term was interspersed with collaborations alongside Crowe in the Kentucky Mountain Boys, the band that preceded the banjoist's famed New South.
Crowe, Lawson and Williams teamed in 2010 to pay tribute to Martin's gospel-inclined music by way of the album Old Friends Get Together. It took honors for gospel performance of the year and recorded event of the year at the 2011 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards.
The trio's second album, Standing Tall and Tough, broadens the repertoire by mixing three Williams-penned tunes cut by Martin with vintage country-inclined songs written and/or popularized by the Louvin Brothers, Bill Anderson, Johnny Bond and Connie Smith.
Crowe, Lawson and Williams will be the featured guests at Monday's taping of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour at the Lyric Theatre. Go to Woodsongs.com for more information.