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Wednesday, June 15th, 2005

Columbus, OH loves Neko Case's live show

Catch that tiger! Over the course of three studio albums that blurred the lines between Patsy Cline and Mazzy Star, Neko Case has become the sweetheart of the alt-country sect. With an arresting, crimson voice that’s at turns sultry, plaintive and robust, Case has imbued each of her records with an indelible mix of torch songsmithery, country noir and fiery spirit. Her new live album, The Tigers Have Spoken (Anti), more explicitly reveals the well of influences from which she draws. Rather than replicate a typical concert, Case has created a unique collection of covers and unreleased originals taken from a handful of concerts in Chicago and Toronto. The lead-off “If You Knew,” a new song written with backing band the Sadies, is particularly startling, and her covers of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Soulful Shade of Blue,” the Shrangri-Las’ “The Train from Kansas City” and Loretta Lynn’s “Rated X” show how thoroughly she’s assimilated her influences as she makes each song her own. Columbus will be treated to Case’s live show when she appears at Little Brother’s on Tuesday, June 14.

—Stephen Slaybaugh www.columbusalive.com

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