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Todd Hallawell and Robin Kessinger Make Guitarists Go All Geeky

Youth Lagoon finds a Fat Possum


Todd Hallawell, who is a finger stylist, and Robin Kessinger, a flatpicker, sport jeans, beards and baseball caps and look like a couple of guys you might find sharing a pitcher of beer and talking about sports. But these two are award-winning guitarists and while guitar geeks adulate the duo as they perform their bluegrass-infused tunes, Hallawell and Kessinger have as much respect for each other as their fans do for them.

"Robin has one of the best feels for flat-picking in the business," Hallawell said. "When we first started performing together, I played mostly fingerstyle, but after working out all the arrangements on our album Ear Candy, I found myself using a flat-pick more and more. So now it's a combination of fingerstyle and me trying to keep up with Robin on the flat-pick. What a ride!"

If you can't find your guitar-playing friends on Friday, they're probably at the Linen Building getting pointers from Hallawell and Kessinger. Local guitarist Dan Costello opens the show.

7 p.m., $15 adv., $18 door. Linen Building, 1402 W. Grove St., 208-385-0111,

Recently local musician Trevor Powers made a splash with his dreamy bedroom-pop project Youth Lagoon when his music came to the attention of NPR and Pitchfork. In an interview with BW, he said his debut LP would be out on Juno Records in June but it looks like the powers that be had other plans.

The Year of Hibernation, Youth Lagoon's debut LP, is due to drop Tuesday, Sept. 27, on Fat Possum. It's a coup for the 22-year-old Powers, who doesn't have much experience under his low-slung belt. He will now be labelmates with the likes of Dinosaur Jr., Dax Riggs, Townes Van Zandt and R.L. Burnside. Even T. Rex has a couple of titles on Fat Possum. Visit to hear YL.

No fan of Steve Martin's banjo playing will feel like a Jerk on Saturday, July 23. With the Steep Canyon Rangers around him, Martin will pluck his way through tunes so well-crafted, he'll sound like a Man With Two Brains. Even a Shopgirl who has never heard of Martin would enjoy seeing him play, and the performance will probably be so entertaining, it could be an L.A. Story instead of one about a cool show that happened in Boise. That Martin. He's such a wild and crazy guy.

8 p.m., $35-$99.50. Eagle River Pavilion, 827 E. Riverside Drive, Eagle,

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