The Amber Gatherers (Drag City)
Calling Alasdair Roberts the British Bonnie “Prince” Billy is both a compliment well earned and blissfully inaccurate. While friend Will Oldham did produce his 2005 disc No Earthly Man, a collection of dark traditionals, it was the Glaswegian folk singer’s own gifted fingerpicking and distinctly dulcet voice that infused those ballads with such beautiful depth of pain. It seems someone’s bought the lad a pint and cheered him a bit since, as his forthcoming 2007 album of originals is full of happy, uplifting tales—although perhaps “happy” is relative in Roberts’s world (“Let me lie and bleed awhile,” he sings triumphantly, “I will rise and fight again”). Whatever his mood, Roberts’s plaintive songs are as misty and pretty as a fog rolling through the Highlands.—Antonia Simigis
Roberts opens for the Decemberists at Rivera Theatre Saturday 11.