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Charlotte Martin 

With Mindy McKeown. Friday, March 24, at the Lime Spider.

That round-faced, barefoot lass with the long, corkscrew hair and the pouty lower lip, sitting at the piano and pounding a mournful tune full of personal, poignant lyrics, is not Tori Amos. It's Charlotte Martin -- or at least it was Martin, once upon a time. "That was me long ago," Martin insists.

Three years isn't that far in the past, but Martin has indeed changed her tune. The lugubrious introspective piano ballads with the spare arrangements have given way to more lushly arranged numbers and a heavy helping of synthesizers. "I grew up around orchestras," Martin says. "It's only natural I should be into synths." Martin, whose dad was an Eastern Illinois University music professor, has one full-length CD and three EPs to her credit. "On Your Shore," the full-length effort, is the old Martin, who admits that she bore a similarity to Amos (and Joni Mitchell, Annie Lennox, and various other self-examining female artists). "Veins," her latest eight-song EP, is much more the Martin who has branched out from the sad chick pouring out her heart at the baby grand.

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