A gifted singer/songwriter with a deft touch on the guitar, mandolin, piano and banjo, Erin McKeown calls herself a mix between Django Reinhardt and G. Love. But even that description only scratches the surface of her music's sly lyrics and rip-roaring swing. McKeown performed a concert from WXPN and The Tin Angel in Philadelphia on Jan. 26.
After studying ethnomusicology at Brown University — and releasing a pair of fine albums independently — McKeown made her major-label debut with 2003's Grand. For her new album, Sing You Sinners, McKeown says she "stuck with things with strings, bringing in a slew of guitars and banjos" to give the band a simple, live feel. The music itself hearkens back to the Great American Songbook, with a lively, funny flair that's uniquely hers.