Music » Critics' Picks

Po' Girl

9 p.m. Wednesday, February 3. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue.

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Contrary to the dialect of the band's name, Po' Girl is less concerned with antiquarian approximations than it is with testing talent against contemporary touchstones: the jazzy folk of Joan Armatrading, the tart roots-pop of the Roches and, above all, the poetic folk-rock of fellow Canadians Anna McGarrigl and her late sister, Kate. Onstage, the band — led by singer-songwriters Allison Russell and Awna Teixeira and backed by instrumentalists Benny Sidelinger, JJ Jones and Maggie Ellis — swaps old-time instruments such as banjos, clarinets, accordions and bells. However, the song craft on its 2009 release, Deer in the Night, is decidedly contemporary and often timeless. Shapely songs emerge from lithe hooks and rhythmic control with enough funky percussion and electric guitar to draw in indie-rock fans as well as Americana enthusiasts.

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