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Peter Mulvey
KITCHEN RADIO
(Signature Sounds)
Stars graphics

Singer/guitarist Peter Mulvey, who hails from Wisconsin, got his local start performing in the subway. Eight albums into his career, thereís still something subterranean in the spirit of his music. Itís the sense of mystery that underlies many of his songs, a sense conjured by the spectral fingers of electric guitar that linger over his most interesting numbers, like the slice of airport life "Denver 6 a.m.," and "Road to Mallow," another travelerís story. His voice also creates this effect at its most intimate, becoming the cigarette-stained whisper of a confidant sharing the poetic visions of his life.

But Mulvey and his songwriting partner and electric-guitarist, David Goodrich, also bring a sense of humor to their craft. "29-Cent Head" lampoons the mindlessness of our market-driven culture; "Sad, Sad, Sad" is as buoyant a tale of loneliness as can be, albeit tempered with the joy of creative energy. Another upbeat entry wedged toward the end of this collection of character studies and stories is a tribute to "Toad," the bustling little music club in Porter Square. Mulvey and Goodrich capture the noisy, convivial atmosphere of the room, coloring in its mix of regulars and giving props to fellow songwriter-guitarist Tim Gearon and his long-standing Monday-night residency there with a name check and a slide-guitar motif.

(Peter Mulvey plays the Club Passim Annual Benefit Concert next Friday, March 26 at Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy Street in Harvard Square; call 617-496-2222. He also plays a CD-release show on May 8 at the Regent Theatre in Arlington; call 781-646-4849.)

BY TED DROZDOWSKI


Issue Date: March 19 - 25, 2004
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