There's forlornness in Brett Dennen that puts a lump in your throat and makes you want to buy the guy a beer and let him have your last two cigarettes. He somehow manages to marry the vocal quiver of Antony Hegarty (of the Johnsons) and the tender strum of British troubadour David Gray. In concert, with his awkward stance and messy red shag you begin to believe that there may well be real hurt behind those sensitive jams.
Other acoustic boys in Dennen's genre give off a ladies-man vibe, with twinkling smiles and puppy-dog stares that put them on every magazine cover known to man. In Dennen's case, he seems vulnerable, like all the rest of us not lucky enough to be dating Jennifer Aniston. His third release, Hope for the Hopeless, is finding a receptive and eager audience after heartbreaker "Ain't Gonna Lose You" was featured on an episode of TV's femme phenom Grey's Anatomy.
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With Erin McCarley, 7 p.m. tonight at Warehouse Live, 813 St. Emanuel, 713-225-5483 or www.warehouselive.com