Beyond – Worth driving out of town

MichelleMaloneCapitol Center for the Arts
44 South Main Street
Concord, NH

Distance: 59 miles
Why: Michelle Malone opening for the Indigo Girls
When: Sunday, October 4, 7:30 PM
Tickets: $12.50-$42.50

How did someone this good stay under the radar for so long? That’s what comes to mind while listening to Debris, Malone’s slide-guitar punctuated collection of reckless youth, stalkers and one-night stands. It’s raw Americana, a fist in the face retort to the Stones’ Some Girls, 30 years on.

The Atlanta, Georgia native has a blues grrrl trifecta going – a howl at the moon voice, harmonica chops and a knack for coaxing killer licks from a vintage Supro Dual Tone guitar (Link Wray’s axe of choice).  With smart songs containing lines like, “the Tennessee river’s just a block away/I could jump in at anytime,” you feel her pain.  Playing live, she stays front and center, backed by just a bass player and a drummer.

Since 1988, Malone’s made 10 solo albums, and worked with some industry heavyweights.  Clive Davis signed her first band, Drag the River, to Arista in 1990, and Walter Yentikoff had her under contract for a time.

She must have learned her lesson – now she runs her own label.