Singer-songwriter Brendan James grew up, in part, in Manchester, New Hampshire. For uninitiated city-folk, this sounds like a charming little hamlet or village in the Granite State’s typical “just steal names from the Brits” fashion. For locals, however, Manchester is “Manch-Vegas,” and it’s a shock that this self-taught pianist hitting up Cafe 939 tonight managed to come out of that hellish chasm-pit with a cheerful, upbeat, danceable brand of folk rock. Seriously y’all—wicked bad. Less parts “glimmering lights,” “endless hope,” and “postmodern architecture,” more parts “manch.” All “manch,” really.
[Fri 8.24.12. 939 Boylston St., Back Bay, Boston. 617.747.8600. 8pm/18+/$12. @bjamesmusic. cafe939.com]