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AMERICANA | Cory Branan 

People tend to fancy Mississippi native Cory Branan an outsider; a dissident who doesn't fit. Well, they're wrong: he fits like an old pair of boots. He hides in the shadows and sings to them. He sings startlingly astute songs from the brim of your hat. His guitar playing is tremendous and jaw dropping as it shifts gears between a slash 'n' strum to a rollicking finger-picked style that is as pleasantly confusing, intricate, and beautiful as lace. But it's the words that'll get you. I mean, Branan wrote the line "The ashtray smoked my last cigarette." Dig.

Cory Branan plays Tuesday, April 4, at Abilene Bar and Lounge, 153 Liberty Pole Way. 8:30 p.m. $8. abilenebarndlounge.com; corybranan.com.

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