Music Menu (2/20/09)

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Ben Sollee The unusual combination of Sollee's oh-so-soulful and pleading voice, think Al Green and Marvin Gaye, along with his sparse cello plucking and playing marks Sollee as an intriguing new solo presence on the scene. Sollee has arrived with lyrically astute songs, the politically lit "A Few Honest Words," and sinewy renditions, Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come," from his new debut album Learning to Bend. He is classically trained yet rooted in soul. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

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Hellblinki Sextet File this anachronistic Asheville co-op under Gypsy Rock, with all the attendant Waits/Brecht/Django/Gogol Bordello references that apply. Nobody's reinventing the wheel here, but then this particular mode of musical transport has roots as old as the Romani themselves, and rarely fails to seduce. Last year's Oratory was the band's best and most concise statement yet, meaning of course that its boleros and waltzes and blues and flamencos came from all over the musical map. With Sonic Death Rabbit and Andy the Doorbum. Snug Harbor (Schacht)

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