Few bands get the honor of embodying an entire genre. But Hem could fairly be considered the epitome of the new "countrypolitan" sound. In critically acclaimed albums like Rabbit Songs
, many of the band's haunting, folk-inspired tunes are accompanied not only by mandolin and steel guitar but also by a full orchestra. The resulting sound is as rich as blackstrap molasses -- and nearly as potent. In early 2013, after a period of intense upheaval encompassing divorces, addiction and depression, the band members rallied to record their final CD, Departure and Farewell
. Yet, far from ending the group, this album of "swan songs" has energized Hem in a fresh and dramatic way. Now, reinvigorated and playing some of their best music yet, Hem comes to the Aladdin Theater in Portland. Singer-songwriter Dawn Landes will open.
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