This week’s Listening Party features the genre-bending sounds of Cass McCombs and his upcoming show next Thursday at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Listening Party is a weekly column promoting music discovery and encouraging concert-going. Each hand-picked Listening Party artist has an upcoming show at a local NYC venue. Grab your headphones and read on.

WHO:  Cass McCombs

THEY SAY:  “California drifter”

WE SAY: A tumbleweed of vagabond wisdom

FROM: Northern California


RECENT WORK: 2013′s Big Wheel and Others

UPCOMING SHOW:  Next Thursday (5/22) at Music Hall of Williamsburg

Northern Cali crooner Cass McCombs has been in the music scene for over a decade and with 2013’s 22-track double release, Big Wheel and Others, shows no signs of slowing down! Falling in harmony with iconic story-tellers, McCombs dishes wisdom-packed lyrics laced with a masculine whimsy akin to Lou Reed, Bob Dylan and Devendra Banhart. It’s no surprise, seeing as McCombs has admitted to having lived several lives during his artistic journey as a narrative nomad- makes for a great songwriter.

It’s hard to encapsulate McCombs’ music into a single genre.  One minute it’s  a hazy, hammock-lullaby (“There Can Be Only One”) and the next it’s a country-road ballad soaked in pedal steel-guitar (“Angel Blood,” “Morning Star”). Sexy jazz saxophones erratically dance their way into “The Burning of the Temple, 2012” while “Brighter!” features the sultry vocals of the late Karen Black atop a blend of retro synths and country strings.

Achingly romantic and alluringly simplistic – Cass McCombs crafts music that will haunt your head and heart. Be sure to catch this traveling troubadour next Thursday (5/22) at Music Hall of Williamsburg with the awesome Endless Boogie!