Corbin Murdoch & the Nautical Miles headlined the evening with remarkably skilled musicianship and imagery-rich lyrics crafted thoughtfully together in a true-to-country form. Opening with “Black Bear,” the China Cloud took on a different ambiance as Murdoch spun yarns of musty cabins and rambling rivers. It wasn’t all subdued, however, as the four-piece churned out ballads to usher shuffles, stomps, and skips about the dance floor. Especially sharp and stylistic drumming kept up the pace, and the surprisingly versatile (maybe magical?) lap steel added interesting texture and interest to flesh out Murdoch’s hearty and competent vocals.
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