METRO SANTA CRUZ January 29 – February 5, 2003

Spencer Bohren

Call me a godless heathen and a musical philistine to boot, but I just assumed nobody could make me want to sit through old-timey standards like “Amazing Grace” or – sweet Jesus! – “Gospel Plow” ever again. But, friends, Spencer Bohren has changed all that, and I’m here to testify that his Carry the Word is no mere history lesson. With an ear for uncanny arrangements and an otherworldly acoustic and slide guitar style, Bohren has injected this roots music with the same rawness that turned the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack into a shocker of a success. The topper is a bone-chilling, pitch-black version of Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “One Kind Favor” (a.k.a. “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean”) that drives the song through Springsteen’s Nebraska on its way to the haunted graveyard of Howlin’Wolf. Henfling’s $8-$10; 8 p.m. (Steve Palpoli)