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March 3, 2010

Bawn ready

Atomic City crew expands its sound on fourth album

Paducah, Ky., isn’t outer space, but Bawn in the Mash describes itself as intergalactic folk and Americana. Through three studio albums and a 2007 live one, the aim has always been testing limits.

“Compared to the other three records, it will be the same feel, the same band,” says mandolin player Thomas Oliverio. “I’m looking forward to spending time with them to see how they come alive in the studio.”

They play three shows here this weekend before heading back home to record their fourth album, the second they’ve produced themselves. Bawn’s mentor and Tennessee state banjo champion Dan Knowles produced their 2006 debut, Welcome to the Atomic City. For 2007’s Hurry Up & Wait, they entered Battle Ridge Studio in Nashville. Donnie Herron, a founding member of BR549 who backs Bob Dylan, played guitar, violin and pedal steel on the album, as did national guitar champion Tyler Grant. Bawn ended that year playing with The Sparrow Quartet’s Casey Driessen during two sold-out shows at Nashville’s Station Inn. Producer, engineer and instructor Chris Henry produced 2008’s Confluence.

This month, they’ll hash out roughly 20 songs at an old Sears house in Paducah’s arts district, only it will be without founding member Nathan Blake Lynn. In July, Lynn left Bawn to start a solo career and moved to Chicago with his wife and son. “He was a huge, huge, huge part of the band,” Oliverio says. “He’s one of the best country singers there is around. It was easy to rely on him to carry the show.”

Despite Lynn’s departure, Oliverio said everyone has adapted quickly, and the change has brought out different strengths. “The last five years we’ve put a lot of groundwork in.”

• Friday, March 5
WFPK Live Lunch
619 S. Fourth St.
814-6500
Free (first come, first seated); noon

w/ A Mourning Rain, 
Dirty Church Revival
Headliners Music Hall
1386 Lexington Road
584-8088
$1; 9 p.m.

• Saturday, March 6
ear X-tacy
1534 Bardstown Road
452-1799
Free; 2 p.m.
www.bawninthemash.com