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Sometimes, a songwriter's first acknowledged endeavor is just the primer for better work to come. Moving from the more folk and pop-oriented quartet Page France to gospel-inspired melancholy of Cotton Jones -- who plays tonight at the Hi-Dive with Jay J Matott and Sunshine House -- it seems Michael Nau has found the best perch for his haunting voice to rest.
Like a gothic Tammy Wynette and George Jones, Nau and his musical partner Whitney McGraw have voices that intertwine in contrasting tonal perfection. Starting as a side project for Nau in 2005, Cotton Jones grew into a four-piece, but it matured in the current duo, whose simplicity creates a much more interesting and complex whole. Together, Nau and McGraw shine a light on the dark side of stripped-down Americana. This show is eighteen and up and tickets are $10. Doors open at 8 p.m., show begins at 9 p.m.