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On a casual listen, most wouldn’t realize that the sweeping numbers on Lambchop’s 11th release, Mr. M, were dedicated to singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt, a longtime friend of bandleader Kurt Wagner. Chesnutt died Christmas Day 2009 due to an overdose of muscle relaxants. “For me, it was like a day you always knew was going to happen,” Wagner told The Guardian. “If you were friends with Vic you sort of accepted that that was a possibility.” Part of the friendship was also allowing Chesnutt’s uncanny songcraft to help shape how Lambchop’s enigmatic lyrics are inextricably intertwined into lush, countrified string arrangements, which helps create a greater meaning than the words alone—subtle, sly and evocative. And on Mr. M, Wagner et al. do that with surreal grace for a beautiful homage to Chesnutt and a fine stand-alone album in its own right.

The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., $20

Date: Apr 29, 2012
Time: 8 pm
Phone: 800-501-2885
Address: 638 South State Street, Salt Lake City, 84111
Where: The State Room