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Nick Castro

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Nick Castro performs "Winding Tree"

Although today’s fringe folk contingent tends to embrace the scrappiness of acoustic instrumentation, psych-folk hero Nick Castro keeps things tight. Taking cues from the classic British folk-rock of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, Castro’s shimmering acid-ragas, middle-eastern tinged ballads and renaissance folk glisten with lovely melodies, soothing drones, and lilting harmonies. To be sure, some critics harp on the LA-based troubadour for embracing familiar psych-folk formulas, but, similar to Espers' most recent album, the relaxed confidence with which he articulates and expands upon traditional motifs renders the wayward wanderings of some of his free-folk brethren somewhat unfocused by comparison. Nick Castro and the Young Elders, with support from Canadian indie-folk favorite Ken Reaume, hit Soundlab this Friday (July 21) at 9pm.