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In concert: Citizen Cope at 9:30 club

citizen copeCitizen Cope blended genres at a sold-out 9:30 club on Saturday. (All photos by Mark Abramson/TWP)

By Sarah Godfrey

Singer-songwriter Citizen Cope was born in Memphis, raised in D.C. and is now based in Brooklyn. That geographical mix is at least partially responsible for his sound, a blend of blues, rock and folk built on a foundation of hip-hop and even go-go beats. He's the sort of urban troubadour that would seem to be at home singing on a street corner in any of those cities or fronting a band and performing to a sold-out crowd, as he did at the 9:30 club Saturday night.

(Sampling from all albums, plus more pictures after the jump.)

citizen cope

The man born Clarence Greenwood has been something of a wandering musician during his career: He switched labels a few times but released his latest, this year's "The Rainwater LP," through his own Rainwater Recordings. On what he called "the last night of a long tour," Cope gave a set structured in a loose chronological order: music from his 2002 eponymous debut, then 2004's "The Clarence Greenwood Recordings" and finally songs from the new album. Bits of 2006's "Every Waking Moment" were sprinkled throughout.

He first appeared without the band, just the singer and his guitar for the doleful "Salvation," from his debut album. The other players joined him for "If There's Love" and "Let the Drummer Kick," a percussive hip-hop-flecked piece.

From the "The Rainwater LP," Cope offered up "Keep Askin' " and "Healing Hands," but the crowd went craziest for Cope's most familiar songs, including "Son's Gonna Rise," chosen by GM to appear in one of its car commercials, and "Bullet and a Target," a track that has been used on television shows and in film, but is begging to be featured in an edgy spot for a certain big box retailer.

citizen cope

citizen cope

citizen cope

By David Malitz  |  May 3, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  In concert  | Tags: Citizen Cope  
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