Yet there was always a true heart beating underneath even the crassest of records, like The Abominable Showman, and it became ever more apparent when he morphed into a roots rocker who combined soul and country like a latter day Flying Burrito Brother. He still retained a sly sense of humor, as evidenced by the 1990 classic All Men are Liars which predicted getting Rick Rolled as a national annoyance (Sample lyric: Do you remember Rick Astley? He had a big fat hit; it was ghastly!). At My Age, his other recent Yep-Roc album, contains the most clear-eyed and mushy love songs of his career (A Better Man, Hope For Us All) as well as his most sinister, I Trained Her To Love Me, which bastardizes Elvis Presleys I Was the One into a cruel-to-be-crueler Lothario confessional: (This one's almost done/Now to watch her fall apart/I trained her to love me/So I could go ahead and break her heart). Nyaa ha ha!
Tue., Oct. 7, 8 p.m., 2008