Folk singer/songwriter Tom Brosseau grew up in Grand Forks, North Dakota, a city devastated by the massive Red River (not ours, theirs) flood of 1997. Though it's taken him a solid decade, Brosseau's newest album -- simply titled Grand Forks -- gives a voice to the once struggling residents of his hometown, telling the story of the flood in plainspoken songs that recall the populist poetry of Woody Guthrie or Hank Williams Sr. His clear, delicate tenor -- think a more restrained Devendra Banhart, a young Jimmie Dale Gilmore or even a more rustic Leslie Feist -- is clearly the dominant instrument, with quietly plucked guitar, brushed drums and tasteful violin the only accompaniment.
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Saturday night Brosseau plays Bend Studio in a rare North Texas appearance. Oddly enough, the last time he came through town, his show was canceled because of the great Dallas flood of 2006. Here's Tom's blog post from that day, which I think Mr. Jim Schutze will find interesting.
Sunday, March 16, 2006 Dallas
Today, leaving Austin, was an adventure. Mary Jones drove to Dallas. Dallas, in case you don't know, had floods going on this afternoon and evening, and so we were faced with all sorts of traffic and high water--it did remind me of the flood of 1997: cars in the ditch, floating cars along the frontage road, police cherries and sirens, firetrucks and commotion. I was scheduled to play this evening at the Cavern, but it was canceled due to the weather. It is bad!
As for tomorrow's show, tickets are $12 (or $15 at the door). Talented Fat Cat label mate David Karsten Daniels opens; and for those of you who find the regular Bend Studio scene (Bob Schneider, Cary Pierce, et al.) a major snooze, this may be the best chance you'll ever have to introduce yourself to the concept of shoeless concerts. --Noah Bailey
Listen to "Here Comes the Water Now."