Concerts

Brett Dennen

People are ready for a fresh-faced heir apparent to Paul Simon, and from the looks of things, Brett Dennen is the guy. His warm, socially conscious folk continues to grow in appeal. Maybe it's the fact that he has more to say about the world than Jack Johnson does and that he does it with a fractured, sensitive croon and a buoyant acoustic sound that (like Simon's Graceland) is often laced with world-music grooves. Even Dennen's "Ain't No Reason" video doesn't just string together artsy images but attaches everyday life to issues of global justice; for example, a woman doing laundry sees a vision of sweatshop workers. Heavy stuff, but Dennen has a way of sewing it all together with appealing melodies and a light touch. And that's no small feat.

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Jewly Hight