Sarah Shook and the Disarmers play boozy and attitudinal honky-tonk-tinged outlaw country with amber rivers of twang, snarl and damaged, self-destructive sadness.
“I’m drinking water tonight ‘cause I drank all the whiskey this morning,” sings Shook on “Dwight Yoakam,” a tune about a departed lover. Distilled spirits make several appearances in Shook’s songs. “I can’t cry myself to sleep, though I’ll drink myself to death/I got cocaine in my bloodstream and whiskey on my breath,” she sings on a song with an unprintable title.
Shook’s tunes sound like they’ve got a mix of sawdust, piss and cheap beer stuck to their boot heels. She sings with a pinched, nasal tone to her voice, which can yip, yodel, break and quiver.
A new bright-burning star of the fertile North Carolina music scene, Shook has earned a reputation for raw honesty and channeling a kind of emotional devastation. She’s a little like Shane MacGowan fused with Lucinda Williams and Buck Owens. Shook and her band released their debut album “Sidelong” last year and just came out with its follow-up “Years.”
If heartaches, hangovers and pedal steel are your thing, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers will give you a reason to stay out late.
Sarah Shook and the Disarmers play Cafe Nine, 250 State St., New Haven, on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. 203-789-8281 or cafenine.com