Preview: Cat Power at 9:30 Club

Photo courtesy of Dean Chalkley for the Observer.

Photo courtesy of Dean Chalkley for the Observer.

Cat Power

There are artists that consistently put out material that doesn’t disappoint. Artists who experiment beyond their genre. Albums that not only entertain but make you think and feel. There are artists who color their life’s journey with song and invite you along for the ride. Cat Power is one of those artists.

Charlyn “Chan” Marshall, an Atlanta native, started recording in the 90’s. With early influences as wide ranging as Otis Redding and Black Flag, Creedance Clearwater Revival and Barry White, her sound is one of a kind and she has the cult following to prove it. This year she put out her tenth album “Wanderer,” a title that encapsulates in a word Marshall’s journey so far. It is classic Cat Power, a little bit punk, a little bit gospel, a little bit soul and blues. But it also takes her recent experimentation with electronica and roots it firmly in Americana.

Long time fans have a Cat Power story, and admittedly, not all of them are flattering. But the last decade has quietly ushered in a new era for Cat Power. One fueled by sobriety instead of stage fright. The clear-headedness Marshall says she now has is evident on her last two albums. While she has always had a bent for the avant garde and the experimental, lately that has developed into a musical maturity that culminates in songs that are both complex and simple, soft and hard hitting. With “Wanderer” we see a master storyteller emerging -- one who not only can give voice to her own narrative, but one who can find her voice alongside other’s. The album features a heart felt cover of Rihanna's “Stay,” and a haunting duet, “Woman,” with Lana Del Rey.

Opening for Cat Power is Reverend Baron. You may not know Reverend Baron by his stage name, but if you ever rode a skateboard, you know who Danny “DGar” Garcia is. The acclaimed nosegrinder started playing music to accompany skateboard videos as a means to get around copyright restrictions on popular music. Over the last decade he’s focused his time on honing the skill. The result is a dreamy, swinging guitar style that floats below lyrics that tackle heartbreak and the ups and downs of everyday life. Give him a listen and imagine yourself soaring on a half pipe on a sunny Southern California afternoon. It’ll bring some warmth to your cold DC bones.

DC’s part of Cat Power’s “Wanderer” tour story is this Sunday, December 16 at the 9:30 Club. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of your own Cat Power story this weekend.