Music » Critics' Picks

Denison Witmer

9 p.m. Saturday, February 24. The Billiken Club at Saint Louis University (20 North Grand Boulevard).

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Every college dorm has a guy like Denison Witmer: a sensitive, gentle-voiced singer with a trusty acoustic guitar whose songs of love (and more frequently loss) seem preternaturally wizened. Witmer's voice is far from forceful, but he inhabits his songs so fully that it's easy to ignore the impressive list of guests on his albums, including Sufjan Stevens, Shara Worden and members of the Innocence Mission. By virtue of these associations, you might have guessed that Witmer occasionally mixes in elements of Christian faith with more-secular concerns — after all, few people can work the word "stigmata" into a love song, as Witmer does in "Little Flowers." But at his core, Witmer is a dreamer and a searcher, and his songs unfold with a vulnerability that's compelling without being cloying.

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