The Baltimore band Arbouretum has been playing heavy, rootsy guitar rock for about decade now, making several strong records on the Thrill Jockey label. On Arbouretum’s latest album, Song of the Rose, the group continues forging the sort of music it always has: songs rooted in folk rock with fuzz-drenched electric guitar riffs and solos, and mournful melodies carried by Dave Heumann’s plaintive voice. The epic quality of the music came through in Arbouretum’s live performance on Saturday, May 27, at Schubas. These four musicians — Heumann, bassist Corey Allender, keyboardist Matthew Pierce and drummer Brian Carey — dug into their songs with an unflashy intensity.
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Another Thrill Jockey band, Brokeback, opened the show with a set of evocative instrumental rock. Led by Doug McCombs (who also plays in Eleventh Dream Day and Tortoise), Brokeback recently released a new album, Illinois River Valley Blues.