Not to be confused with fellow art-folk group Vetiver, Washington, D.C.'s Vandaveer sports a smokier yet more straightforward sound that feels born and bred in the back room of some bohemian cafe. And while that may sound like damnation with faint praise, Vandaveer manages to stagger between Tom Waits rasp and Appalachian rust with equal zeal. Led by singer-songwriter Mark Charles Heidinger and aided by the sweet, piercing harmonies of Rosie Guerin, the project has an offhand, even skeletal sketchiness that underpins Heidinger's rich voice and fluency in the collective songbooks of Cat Stevens, the Band and Bob Dylan. (In fact, Vandeveer plays a mean version of Dylan's "The Man in Me," the original being one of the many musical highlights of The Big Lebowski.) In Heidinger's hands, though, it's all just folk — and good folk, at that.
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