Nick Lowe

Like Patti Smith, Nick Lowe was only ever punk by association. Though he served as the rough-and-dirty in-house producer for the fledgling Stiff Records label (where he created hits with the Damned and Elvis Costello), Lowe’s own musical sentiments were rooted in three-minute pop and rock, always laced with a biting wit. But his musical interests were even more varied than originally presumed, which he proved by marrying Johnny Cash’s daughter Carlene Carter in 1979 and producing her records in the '80s and, subsequently, those of John Hiatt and The Fabulous Thunderbirds. Throughout, Lowe’s own songwriting has grown increasingly rootsy. His latest release, The Old Magic, is a smoothly pressed Americana album of pre-Beatles pop and Johnny Cash shuffles, in which Lowe comfortably assumes the role of an old crooner. Songs range from Tom T. Hall covers to the self-deprecation of “Sensitive Man” to the sarcastic post-breakup balladry of “I Read a Lot.” Which, in fact, he does. BRIAN J. BARR

Thu., Oct. 13, 8 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 14, 8 p.m., 2011

 
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