Music » Critics' Picks

The Magpies

9 p.m. Wednesday, January 21. The Old Rock House, 1200 South 7th Street.



Back when he was fronting roots-rockers the Whiskeyhounds, Roger Hoover had a serious thing for Bob Dylan. These days, as leader of Cleveland's Magpies (three-fourths of the Whiskeyhounds plus a new bass player), Hoover is no less enamored with Zimmy. But after nearly a decade of making music and recently turning 30, he's finally settling into his own voice — one that's still deeply rooted in guitar-based Americana with a dash of Midwestern twang. The Magpies' latest album, Eastern Standard Time, is stuffed with Byrdsian jangle, Springsteen-style sprawl and, yes, the occasional Dylan-like wordplay. Songs like "Picture Me in a Love Song" and "The Waiting" underscore Hoover's rasp and the band's old-school approach to music-making (they haul organs, accordions and fiddles into the studio and onstage). Best of all, the Magpies' live shows are much more reliable than Dylan's recent gigs.

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