Thankfully, Bachmann is far more articulate than the Neil of "I Am, I Said." (Crooked Fingers does, however, perform a brilliant cover of "Solitary Man.") His songs are always confessions, sometimes tender, often brutal -- stories you save until last call because you can't imagine telling them sober. Bachmann sets his stories to spare but warm music: Acoustic and slide guitars, a piano and steady percussion dominate the intricate arrangements.
Crooked Fingers' latest album, Dignity and Shame, adds a Spanish flavor to the mix: a fluttering trumpet here, the distinctive jangle of flamenco guitar there. It is the band's most varied collection to date, from the rollicking sing-along "Valerie" to the meditative title track to the Elvis Costello-esque confrontation "Call to Love." And not an "I Am, I Said" or "Today" in the bunch.
Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10; call 314-534-1111 for more information.