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Brandi Carlile 

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JEREMY COWART
  • Photo by Jeremy Cowart

Country music could use more singers like Brandi Carlile, a natural-born torchbearer whose musical leanings — everything from Patsy Cline to Radiohead — refuse to live neatly inside a single box. On "The Story," the brazen title track on her 2007 major-label breakthrough (Columbia), she's a force of nature, touching the clouds with a ghostly Thom Yorke falsetto and tearing through octaves with a cracking, guttural fury of which the dainty Cline wouldn't have dreamed. The song landed on Grey's Anatomy (along with several other Carlile cuts), and put her atop the list of female vocalists clamoring for Neko Case's crown. The rest of The Story, produced by T-Bone Burnett, reveals similar talent with varied material: a balladeer's prowess on the vocal showcase "Turpentine"; feathery finger-picking and more slippery singing on the folk-rock stomp "Have You Ever." Opening the all-acoustic show is Boulder, Colo., singer/songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov, whose spellbinding self-release This Empty Northern Hemisphere drops this week and features a Leonard Cohen-covering duet with Carlile. Tickets $23.50.

Brandi Carlile with Gregory Alan Isakov

8 p.m. Sun., May 24

House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;


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