Before opening last year’s “Live at St. Pancras Old Church” album with a sublime take on 2008 single “You’ll Only End Up Joining Them,” notably prolific singer/songwriter Kevin Devine clarifies the volume of his work for those who may have just discovered it.
“I have a lot of records,” he said. “I’m only 35, but I have, like, a 70-year-old’s amount of records.”
That’s true. Between full-lengths, live albums, a litany of splits and EPs—and even a recorded cover of Nirvana’s entire “Nevermind” album—the Brooklyn-born indie minstrel has recorded a mountain of material since the dissolution of his New York Mets-inspired emo outfit Miracle of 86 more than 10 years ago. But throughout this journey of creative accumulation, Devine’s crafted a melodically empathetic voice for a generation now involved in a seemingly infinite search for reasonable clarity amid nonsensical chaos. It’s a delivery that’s coaxed crowds through his latest studio release “Instigator.” And it’s a vocal presence that meets those yearning for familiarity with echoes of Ted Leo, Elliott Smith or even Fountains of Wayne’s Chris Collingwood.
It’s a lot to digest. But as Devine has proven throughout his productive existence, there’s plenty to applaud.
Info: Kevin Devine performs with Adult Mom and Sonny Baker at 8 p.m. May 19 in the 9th Ward @ Babeville (341 Delaware Ave.). Tickets are $16 advance, $19 day of show (Babeville box office, TicketWeb).