City Paper is not for tourists
The first thing you notice about Phosphorescent, the alias of singer/songwriter Matthew Houck, is his creaky country voice. When he holds a note too long, it breaks, emitting a weariness that suits his songs of travel and regret. Born in Alabama and making his name in Georgia, Phosphorescent adds a Southern slant to his melancholic, ambient brand of indie rock. (He is known to quote Johnny Cash in songs, and he recorded a Willie Nelson tribute album in 2009.) Now he brings his distinctive voice and a full band to the 9:30 Club in support of last year’s Muchacho, which, like many Southern things, comes with a story: After an earlier tour, Houck came back to Brooklyn to find his life in shambles. He lost his apartment, girlfriend, and recording studio. To rebuild, he took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Mexico, where a new set of songs germinated. The result is a rich and inviting album of love and redemption, two themes country musicians and fans know a lot about. Phosphorescent performs with Caveman at 7 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $18. (202) 265-0930. 930.com.