Remember when only 50-year-old gray-haired dudes played pedal steel guitar? Those days are over, friends. Youngsters around the country have applied themselves well, resulting in bands like the Civil War. Tim Platz, the lead singer, sounds like David Crosby on a young day. The rest of the band (Matt Borkenhagen, Tom Bowmer, and Patrick Friedman) also drinks deep from the 1970s hippie-country well, but includes folk icon Odetta and the queen of country drama, Neko Case, in its list of influences. Some songs start out like the Paris, Texas soundtrack, and wind up in Devil Makes Three territory, while others just ramble comfortably from the barn to the bar. It's a rough but sincere sound, smoothed out with that sweet, sweet pedal steel.
Fri., Jan. 4, 9 p.m., 2008