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Slipper Rock 

Settle in with an Irish crooner, lots of booze, and college kids.

Break out your hoodie and slippers for singer-songwriter Marcus Dirk's performance at the Case Western Reserve hang the Barking Spider tonight. "I want the audience to feel at home, like I'm playing in your living room by the fire," says Dirk, who also performs with the local jam band Cayuga. "I try to interact with the audience more when I'm playin' solo, to explain the history of a song or just to chat a bit." His Irish-influenced compositions are both haunting and simple, matched with a voice that exudes gruff Ohio weariness. "Clevelanders know what they like, which can be tough at times," he says. "But if you're in the right venue, it can be great because they are also great listeners." Influenced by acts as disparate as Gordon Lightfoot and Peter Tosh, Dirk's music has a narrative drive that keeps the listener's attention. Give him a listen on Friday, April 25, at 8 p.m. at the Barking Spider, 11310 Juniper Road. Call 216-421-2863 or visit www.barkingspidertavern.com.
Fri., April 25, 8 p.m., 2008

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