Blues, Folk, & Country, All Ages

Laura Marling

When: Tue., July 27, 8 p.m. 2010

A product of the same London-based alt-folk scene that's spawned critical favesNoah and the Whale and Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling has already made a mark for herself at the tender age of eighteen.  Between her smoky croon and her penchant for lyrics that visit the dark side of love, relationships and death, Marling closely resembles English folk forbearers Fairport Convention and Nick Drake. Riding the upswell provided by her 2008 Mercury Prize-nominated debut Alas I Cannot Swim, the Hampshire native tapped producer Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon). The resulting I Speak Because I Can is a stripped-down folk album with well-arranged bursts of strings, mandolin, and banjo. Don't be fooled by the twee-like phrasing that suggests a less quirkier Kimya Dawson on the delightfully harmonious "Darkness Descends"  --Marling can whip out the melancholy and seething rage at will. She matter-of-factly declares, Why fear death? / Be afraid of living an emotional wound the amid the jangly fervor of "Rambling Man." Laura Marling's talents have earned her numerous comparisons to Joni Mitchell. That's enticiement enough to check out her performance Tuesday, July 27 at The Great American Music Hall (859  O'Farrell St., San Francisco), 8 p.m., $20, $18.50. GAMH.com

Dave Gil de Rubio

Price: $18.50, $20 door

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