Preview: Luke Roberts at Double Happiness

By Columbus Alive
From the December 15, 2011 edition

Luke Roberts is a Nashville songwriter, but not a Nashville™ songwriter. Instead, the music that populates his debut “Big Bells & Dime Songs” is ragged and weary, gracing repetitious guitar figures with Will Oldham-like narration. This is not leather pants CMT country. (Do not save a horse. Do not ride a cowboy. Do not pass go.) Nor is it high-fructose Bluebird Café stuff.

Rather, Roberts is the kind of guy who recruits a member of Georgia leftfield metal masters Harvey Milk to record his album and releases it on Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace label. Think of him as A.A. Bondy’s weird cousin.

Roberts recently hitched his wagon to Thrill Jockey, who reissued “Big Bells & Dime Songs” and will unveil another set, “The Iron Gates at Throop and Newport,” next year. The new stuff is even starker, sadder and more beautiful, so his show Friday at Double Happiness should be mighty fine.