Music » Critics' Picks

Caleb Travers & Big City Lights/Jon Hardy & the Public

9 p.m. Saturday, October 6. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue.

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The list of influences on Caleb Travers & Big City Lights' MySpace page stretches from the obvious alt-country heroes (Patsy Cline, Dylan, the Band) to some less-obvious picks (Fleetwood Mac, Marvin Gaye). Still, the band's straight-shooting, tear-stained rock & roll rests on the lachrymose depths of Travers' flickering tenor voice. Jon Hardy & the Public tread in Americana's dreamier realm, thanks to chiming, echo-laden guitar strokes and big-hearted choruses that threaten to tear songs apart at their seams. Hardy likes to form his vowels like Spoon's Britt Daniel — slightly inflected, almost British at times — but there's a soulful reediness to his voice that recalls (wait for it) Boz Scaggs. The show serves as a CD release party for the band's new CD, Working in Love.

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