Music » Critics' Picks

M. Ward / Norah Jones

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 2. Fox Theatre (527 North Grand Boulevard).

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Say what you will about Norah Jones, but the woman has the guts to choose opening acts that could potentially blow her off the stage. On her last go-round, Jones enlisted the mighty Gillian Welch to warm up the crowd, and this tour features the considerable talents of M. Ward. On last year's Post-War, Ward added layers of tonewheel organ and orchestral percussion to his largely unadorned folk music. His warm, drowsy voice could be confused for dinner-party background music if his spindly guitar work and cryptic, entrancing lyrics weren't so engaging. Ward is the kind of artist that rewards close listening, and once you let him in your head, he won't be leaving anytime soon.

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