TUESDAY

To judge by the success of such wandering minstrels as Sam Beam, Devendra Banhart, and that Oberst boy, it would seem as though Marshall stacks have become merely something from which to yank a plug. But long before the Acoustic Café vibe became so fashionable, Alasdair Roberts was writing plaintive folk songs in the Scottish Highlands. He made his first single, with Appendix Out, for Will Oldham’s Palace label—and then had to suffer the indignity of constantly having his voice compared to the rustic warble of the Palace magnate. Though he hasn’t achieved the high points that Oldham has in his various guises, Roberts’ lack of artistic self-indulgence has produced a more consistent output. Over several records, he’s pretty much ignored all modern musical trends, seeking inspiration from traditional British Isles folk: “Join Our Lusty Chorus,” from his latest album, Farewell Sorrow, incorporates a melody from the traditional Sussex hunting song “Sportsmen, Arouse!” The ancestral chests of Northumbria and Ulster get raided for the songs “Carousing” and “When a Man’s in Love He Feels No Cold.” And although Roberts may never be accused of being a musical maverick, he still manages to escape the trap of the rote revivalist, peopling his bucolic ballads with haggis-chomping, caber-tossing peasantry. (Think the threatening villagers of Straw Dogs and The Wicker Man.) There are adulterers, murderers, revelers, naughty knaves, and even the occasional mythological creature that’s strayed over from the Incredible String Band’s bestiary. Roberts plays with the Childe Ballads at 9 p.m. at the Warehouse Next Door, 1017 7th St. NW. $7. (202) 783-3933. (David Dunlap Jr.)