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Nick Brown Band, Evan Murdock And The Imperfect Strangers, Josh Harty Band, Wrenclaw

  • High Noon Saloon 701 East Washington Avenue Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

Madison-based singer and songwriter Nick Brown has developed a songwriting voice that has its share of wry humor, but doesn't shy away from tenderness or vulnerability. He made his solo debut in a restrained, sparse mode with 2013's Slow Boat, but in the years since has expanded to a full band with a warm, electric country-rock edge, as captured on 2017's Contender EP. The EP's title track is right in the zone where Brown does his best work, portraying a character of both admirable spirit and perhaps foolish tenacity: I'll put my shit up against anybody's in this town / 'Cause I'm a contender, that's what I am / Throwing my punches with bandages on my hands." Brown and band headline here and share the bill with several other solid Madison songwriters working in the country and folk realm: Josh Harty, Evan Murdock, and Wrenclaw's Dan Walkner. —Scott Gordon