Eric Bachmann is one of the newest and most valuable additions to the Denver music scene. A longtime North Carolinian, he first came to indie-rock prominence in the Archers of Loaf, an act capable of cranking up a righteous racket, and subsequently formed Barry Black, an instrumental outfit that paired him with Caleb Southern. As time wore on, however, Bachmann quieted down. The music he's made as the leader of Crooked Fingers emerges from the singer-songwriter tradition, and so does the material on To the Races, a just-released solo album on Saddle Creek. "Lonesome Warrior" is the simplest of strums, yet a charming melody and lyrics that pluck "four-leaf clovers for love" render it irresistible. Elsewhere, "Liars and Thieves" brims with intensity even though he hardly raises his voice, and "Little Bird" carefully threads its way through "throngs of old cliches." Expect Bachmann to do likewise during this appearance -- which co-stars Richard Buckner -- as well as future gigs in the town he now calls home. Welcome, Mr. Bachmann. Hope you stay a while.
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