Quiet is the new loud at the Mink tonight, when two of the more interesting names in under-the-radar folk-pop peddle their tuneful wares. Southern Gothic troubador James Jackson Toth (above), formerly of offbeat acoustic duo Wooden Wand - whose 2007 LP James and the Quiet featured members of Wilco, Deerhoof and Vetiver - has drawn comparisons to early-'70s Rolling Stones and Tom Waits ("but without the gruff rumble") for his brand-new solo album Waiting in Vain (Rykodisc). He's also a Tanya Tucker fan, giving him extra cool points.
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Seattle duo The Dutchess and the Duke, meanwhile, run toward the Woody Guthrie/Billy Bragg strain. Think of half the Mamas and the Papas reuniting to scratch an indie-folk itch and you're about right,” offers indie-tracking Web site Aversion.