DECEMBER 2-5

Her Dance to the Drums was one of my early ’93 favorites, and with the recent release of Blue Lights ‘Til Dawn, singer-songwriter Cassandra Wilson closes the year with another work of unbridled originality. On Blue Lights, Wilson’s voice effortlessly anchors varied, string-based instrumentation (steel string and pedal guitars, violin, mandocello)—it could just as fittingly have been titled “Glide to the Guitars Once More.” While her Blue Skies explored well-worn standards, Blue Lights chooses to revisit less familiar material (by Robert Johnson, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix). Wilson’s version of Bell and Creed’s classic “Children of the Night” is as rare as a blue moon—her remake transcends memories of the original. She performs Thursday through Sunday at 8 & 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Rear Wisconsin Ave. NW. $18 plus a $7 minimum. (202) 337-4141. (Bobby Hill)

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