Not so long ago, Paul Fonfara brought his multi-instrumentalist brilliance to the original incarnation of DeVotchKa. In addition to his prowess on the clarinet, which he played in that band, Fonfara also applied his considerable talents to live versions of Woven Hand, Maraca 5-0 and the Denver Gentlemen. He has since moved to Minneapolis, where he helms Painted Saints (due at the hi-dive this Friday, July 21, and Saturday, July 22, at the Oriental Theater), a project that's centered around him and features a revolving cast of musicians. With a voice that's just shy of world-weary, Fonfara evokes the Euro decadence of late-'60s Scott Walker, with a hint of grittiness to take off the polish. The result is a sound that recalls Black Heart Processions' spaghetti-Western gypsy music, conjuring images of lonely country roads and neglected desert highways running past abandoned farms and homesteads. For this performance, Fonfara will be joined on stage by longtime cohort Kelly O'Dea (also a member of Bad Luck City, Tarantella and Coyote Poets of the Universe) and fellow Minnesotans Josh Granowski and cellist Jonathan Kaiser. -- Tom Murphy
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