Warren Jackson Hearne & Le Leek Electronique 

Eleutheros!

If your familiarity with singer-songwriter Warren Jackson Hearne extends back only as far as his 2010 release, Musa Dagh, then look out. His latest record, Eleutheros!, a musical collaboration/ performance art cadre called Le Leek Electronique, might cause you to scratch your head and say, “What the—?!” However, if you take Hearne’s musical trail back to his days with the Gloomadeers, then it makes perfect sense. The man ain’t no one-trick pony, nor is he afraid to take chances with his music.

Eleutheros! sounds to me like the musical soundtrack to a mash-up of Baz Luhrmann’s visual take on The Great Gatsby and a hobo camp. The stripped-down rural doom of Hearne’s Musa Dagh compositions like “Death You’re So Cold,” “God Will Strike Me Down” and “The Legend of the Gray Wolf Girl,” is, on Eleutheros!, pumped up with jazzy rhythms and instrumentation that swing from toe-tappers to walls of reed-instrument squeal. Hearne’s stern baritone is ever-present, spinning his tales of gloom and woe in, at times, almost incongruous surroundings. That’s what I find so compelling: the image of roadside storytelling polished up and put on stage. It all sounds like a great time, until you look just a little deeper to the darker core.

Warren Jackson Hearne plays the VFW Fri., Nov. 22, at 10 PM with Birds Mile Home, The Whiskey Hooves and Jacob Osborne and the Broken Thistle Band. $5.

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