Sally Timms may have a penchant for the trappings of country-and-western music, wearing a cowboy hat in the portrait on the cover of her To the Land of Milk and Honey (Feel Good All Over) and calling her new EP Cowboy Sally (Bloodshot), but the English-born Chicago resident is no one-dimensional Nashville songbird. As one of the Mekons’ featured singers she lends just the right touch of world-weary irony to their chaotic rock ‘n’ roll circus; solo, she’s recorded delicate ballads, slick Euro-pop, and ersatz German oompah music as well as impeccable covers of classics by Dolly Parton, John Anderson, and Johnny Cash. Timms’s fetching voice is more than equal to both the technical and emotional challenges presented by her chosen material: her singing is unabashedly lovely, but she can inject wonderfully unsettling bitterness into her tales of rootlessness and romance. Lately Timms has appeared as a duo with her main bloke, multi-instrumentalist Fred Armisen, and since the Waco Brothers and the Handsome Family, both of whom back her on Cowboy Sally, are also on the bill she’ll probably sing with them as well. Friday, 10 PM, FitzGerald’s, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn; 708-788-2118. BILL MEYER
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo of Sally Timms by Katrina Wittkamp.