John Renbourn and Jacqui McShee

Saturday, May 21; Focal Point (2720 Sutton Boulevard)

When you think about it, "folk music" is a pretty big phrase. And when you think about it in relationship to the '60s British "folk" band Pentangle, it becomes even bigger. Pentangle loved sixteenth-century English pastoral tunes and murder ballads as much as the next folk band, but it also played jazz, rock, blues and pop songs. The band carried the strength of its conviction that folk music encompassed anything that could be heard as the expression of the common people.

Pentangle's heyday ended some 35 years ago, but that doesn't mean the individual members faded away. John Renbourn, one of the two virtuoso acoustic guitarists in the band, has continually refined his artistry over the decades. He is a master of melodic expression, a player of great delicacy, imagination and fiery grit.

Though Renbourn has toured America on a consistent basis, singer Jacqui McShee has remained less in the limelight, even by folk-music standards. She hasn't appeared in St. Louis in more than a dozen years. McShee has a delightful, clear soprano voice, a perfect match for Renbourn's guitar. It should be a great thrill to catch these two infrequent partners in a rare appearance together. Expect the biggest selection of folk possibilities, and expect it to be beautiful.

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Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 at the door; call 314-781-4200 for more information.

 
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