Canadian songwriter Ron Sexsmith has a fey manner and boyish looks that could have him carded even now into his mid-40s. Those externalities contribute to a sense of his music as overly precious and sweet. Production choices over the years have played a role in that too, as 2001’s rootsy Steve Earle-produced Blue Boy lost the gloss and gained immediacy. Since then Sexsmith’s been more adventurous—adding tasteful electronics (2002’s Cobblestone Runway), going acoustic (2005’s Destination Unknown), and joining Cuban jazz musicans (2008’s Exit Strategy of the Soul). His latest, Long Player Late Bloomer, feels like a prodigal’s return, capitalizing on those early strengths with palpable, unhurried assurance. Produced by, of all people, Bob Rock (Metallica, Bon Jovi) it possesses Sexsmith’s signature grace, Beatlesque melodies and keen lyricism delivered with surprising briskness.
Sat., March 26, 7:30pm. $18. With Caitlin Rose. Tin Angel, 20 S. Second St. 215.928.0770. tinangel.com
PW's Music Issue 2014