by Robert Bell
9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern.
There's some seriously great playing on some very, very good tunes on the new Amy Garland album, "Hang a Light." The singer/songwriter hosts the "Backroads" show on KABF-FM 88.3 (Fridays from 5-7 p.m.) and she's been a fixture on the Americana/roots scene for quite some time now. Her tunes would no doubt fit in seamlessly on one of her shows, tucked in somewhere between a Patty Griffin song and maybe something by Willie Nelson.
The album boasts a murderer's row of great local talent (lots of Salty Dogs on here), including her husband Bart Angel, Mike Nelson and Nick Devlin, who produced the set. Other guests include Bonnie Montgomery, Jeff Coleman, Brad Williams, Shannon Boshears, Isaac Alexander, RJ Looney and Amy Williams.
Highlights: "Blood Still Here in My Veins" kicks things off with an almost Dire Straits-backing-Nanci-Griffith vibe. "Runaway Boy" hits a sentimental sweet spot that'll tug on your heartstrings without ever seeming maudlin. "Mama's Tired" is a satisfying kiss-off with a killer central riff. Garland and crew take Rowland Salley's "Killing the Blues" (notably covered by John Prine and on that ubiquitous Robert Plant and Alison Krauss collab) and make it their own.
This album release show will no doubt be a special night, with lots of guests getting up on stage to join Garland for a round. Bonnie Montgomery opens the show.