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Singer Rachel Brooke cites Bessie Smith, Louis Jordan, Johnny Cash and the Beach Boys as musical influences. Against that backdrop, her sound - far more Bessie than Beachy, for the record - is decidedly late-night/barroom music.
And Brooke's songwriting inspirations are diverse and intriguing. One might be about a dream that the Devil lives in her pots and pans. Others might be about animals or flowers, and still more might involve melodic homicidal speculation. But they always result in astonishing tunes that take sparse country-blues in a decidedly fun but dark direction.
You should listen to such albums as "Down in the Barnyard" or the brand-new "A Killer's Dream" - and definitely see her Wednesday when she headlines New London's Oasis Pub.
The GraveRobbers' James Maple will open with a solo set.
- RICK KOSTER
Rachel Brooke, 9 p.m. Wednesday, the Oasis Pub, 16 Bank St., New London; James Maple opens; $5; (860) 447-3929.