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M. Ward and Kurt Vile Are Coming Our Way

August 8th, 2011

Singer-songwriter-guitarist Matt Ward grew up in California, and his West Coast sensibility combined with the country and gospel influences of his youth have long informed his music, first as a member of the folk trio Rodriguez and then on his own as M. Ward. His first solo album, Duet for Guitars #2, Ward’s take on Americana, came out in 1999. Since then the talented musician has filled another five LPs and a few EPs with his sweet songs and gravelly voice. But you can also judge a man by the company he keeps, and Ward (above, playing “Poison Cup” for 101.9 KINK FM in Portland, Ore.) is no slouch in that department, recording and touring with Jim James, Mike Mogis and Conor Oberst, as part of Monsters of Folk, and putting out two albums with Zooey Deschanel as She & Him.

Kurt Vile, another talented singer-songwriter-guitarist, this one from Philly, has put out four stellar albums. The most recent of which, this year’s Smoke Ring for My Halo, features pounding drums and plenty of guitars. And when backed live by the Violators, Vile (below, performing “Hunchback” last year at Mercury Lounge) is one not to miss. So don’t. See M. Ward and Kurt Vile & the Violators play The Wellmont Theatre on Thursday.