You’ll often see Cotton Jones referred to as a duo, since the principal songwriters are Michael Nau and wife Whitney McGraw. They’ve been making music together since their days in indie-rock outfit Page France. But when Cotton Jones came to town as the opening act for David Bazan in 2011, the band boasted drums, a horn section, accordion and a full sound that belied its usual folk-duo descriptors. Expect more than a duo at this week’s Columbus gig, too.
If you’ve become (understandably) wary of words like “accordion,” “horns” and “folk” in the same paragraph, don’t fret. Cotton Jones’ songs on 2010 full-length Tall Hours in the Glowstream and 2011 EP Sit Beside Your Vegetables aren’t precious. Nau’s odd but engrossing Roy Orbison warble gets washed in lap steel, keys and a haze of reverb-y guitars to give the songs a nostalgic, psychedelic feel. “As loneliness folds into winter/Take our wooden wings, flap ’em through the snow,” goes a new tune Cotton Jones has been playing live recently — a fitting sentiment for these long Ohio winters.
Arrive early to Rumba on Thursday to catch opener Dolfish, the moniker for ex-Columbus/now-Cleveland songwriter Max Sollisch. Also: Cotton Jones will return to Ohio for the Nelsonville Music Festival at the end of May.