Brett Dennen, Erin McCarley

Last summer, Brett Dennen released his third album, Hope for the Hopeless to modest success and a fair amount of critical love.

But, surely, the hoopla surrounding the album release wasn't what this singer-songwriter with a unique slur was hoping for; after all, in November 2007, based on the groundswell of grassroots support Dennen had amassed for his 2006 release So Much More, Rolling Stone named him one of its Artists to Watch in 2008. Um, well, keep watching: Dennen's affecting blend of acoustic folk-pop won't turn him into a superstar any time soon, but it will help him develop a fiercely loyal following for the time being—which means The Loft's cozy confines are the perfect setting for this show.

Opening for Dennen on this tour is a perhaps more-interesting relative newcomer: the sorta quirky, very poppy, kinda sappy singer-songwriter Erin McCarley, who, actually, is originally from the Dallas area. Recently, Grey's Anatomy used one of her tracks during a montage, so you know what that means: We're setting the odds of that and her upcoming He's Just Not That Into You song placement into her earning a VH1 You Oughta Know Artist tag at, oh, 3-to-1. Any takers?

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