David Baerwald was the lyricist and singer whose contemporary Chandlerisms and unsentimental melancholy suffused the still-potent David and David debut album, Boomtown. The record’s relatively minor success loomed large in the lives of its creators, delaying and then scotching the follow-up; first real word we’ve had from the pair since is Baerwald’s solo debut, Bedtime Stories. The record is similar in tone, theme, and sound, but it’s somehow grittier, despite the AOR sweetening on songs like “The Best Inside You.” It’s a difficult but quite rewarding effort; along the way you pick up favorite lines (mine are “I was stopped for oblivious driving,” and “While Lucas Riley slept / His wife and her lover met / Making love as Lucas Riley / Went deeper into debt”) and get into its groove. At first you think that the stories embedded in his sultry, dense song structures can’t really be as bleak as they read; but then that sultriness edges over into something redolent of pain and distance and loss, and then they sweep you right along into the depths. Saturday, 7:30 PM, Park West, 322 W. Armitage; 929-5959.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Peter Higganbotham.