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Samantha Crain at Otherlands Coffee Bar

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Otherlands Coffee Bar has become a reliable spot for excellent weekend folk/acoustic gigs but will host a particularly interesting double-bill a little early this week. Indie-folk up-and-comer Samantha Crain hails originally from Shawnee, Oklahoma, home of Woody Guthrie. Crain's sound has some dust to it, but her thrust is more personal than political. I've seen her described as a more grounded version of indie-folk star Joanna Newsom, but Crain's husky, expressive voice, confident delivery, and more elevated-than-usual musicality remind me a little more of one of my favorite contemporary artists of the type, Jennifer O'Connor. Even if you don't know either of those names, if you just like folk singers who can really sing, Crain is well worth a look. Her latest album, Kid Face, releases two days before her Memphis show, and, as of press time, you could find it streaming for free online. Samantha Crain plays Otherlands Coffee Bar on Thursday, February 21st, with locals the Memphis Dawls, with whom Crain can share stories of opening up for Emmylou Harris. Showtime is 8 p.m.

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