Midtown Dickens, Matthew E White | Haw River Ballroom | Clubs & Concerts | Indy Week
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Midtown Dickens, Matthew E White 

When: Sat., Nov. 17, 8 p.m. 2012
Price: $10

Released earlier this year on Hometapes, a Portland label with intense local ties, Big Inner is the debut album by Richmond bandleader Matthew E. White under his own name. But it would be wrong to call it White's debut, as he's spent time during the last decade co-leading the adventurous pan-Americana updates The Great White Jenkins and the versatile jazz beast Fight the Big Bull. Those experiences find their culmination in Big Inner, a wonderful entrée that broadcasts very personal feelings about history and love and family through very public arrangements, delivered by a crew consisting of a choir, a horn and strings cavalcade and a rhythm section that lets all of White's New Orleans adoration resonate. Poignant and beautiful, Big Inner is both immediate and adventurous, the kind of record that continues to unfold its nested layers of reward over time. Meanwhile, Home, the third and most recent album from Durham's Midtown Dickens, successfully captures their ascendance from a cute and quirky pair of pals playing warts-and-all ditties to a proper ensemble that highlights those previous eccentricities with more customary oomph and elegance. The seams still show, but in their current configuration, Midtown Dickens make them appear as intentional patterns in the design, not problems in the fabric. —Grayson Currin

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