Brent Malin and the Railroaders
Classic-country-style songs from the local singer-songwriter and his band. Solid tunes with decent vocals and classic lyrics and tropes. (Some of the songs have names, like "Abilene" and "The Gambler," that toe the line between homage and unoriginal, though they're well done.) Malin's voice actually lends itself best to the louder pieces, of which there are only a few here (like "Circus Ride," a fun rocker). The band — replete with pedal steel and Dobro, which are always great when done right — sounds big and beautiful, making this one an especially pleasant listen.
— Andy Mulkerin
BRENT MALIN CD RELEASE. 9 p.m. Sat., Oct. 5. Howlers Coyote Café, 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $5. 412-682-0320 or www.howlerscoyotecafe.com
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With Flexure, saxophonist Ben Opie took cues from Miles Davis' electric work. The vinyl-only Insert Title Here recalls the trumpeter's In a Silent Way: two side-long tracks, one splicing different improvisations together into a cohesive piece. Bits of compositions pop up, but the sextet uses riffs to create a mood that leads to solos. Recorded during a January residency at the New Hazlett Theater, these tracks never lose their steam.
— Mike Shanley
FLEXURE LP RELEASE: 10 p.m. Sat., Oct. 12. Club Café, 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $10. 412-431-4950 or www.clubcafelive.com