Although his voice is slightly more gritty and assertive than Sam Beam's, Seattle singer-songwriter Rocky Votolato's music has evolved in a manner similar to Iron & Wine over the past few years going from sparse acoustic guitar-and-voice arrangements to something far more fleshed-out. That is, lush indie-folk thickened with organ and banjo and lots more guitars (see last year's The Brag & Cuss, the singer's fifth solo album). But as he recently noted on his website, Rocky's tired of playing songs from that disc, and he's craving the intimacy of that earlier work, so on his current tour he's ditched his band for solo acoustic shows and is drawing mostly from his two previous albums, 2003's Suicide Medicine and 2006's Makers as well as promising some new tunes and even a few songs by his old emo band, Waxwing. In such an environment, his affecting songs that juxtapose love with loss, hope with regret, and ugliness with beauty, should shine even more brightly.
Fri., Aug. 1, 8 p.m., 2008