Alibi V.14 No.5 • Feb 3-9, 2005 

Music Magnified

Michael Tolcher

with Gavin DeGraw

Saturday, Feb. 8; Sunshine Theater (21 and over, 7:30 p.m.): Admittedly, I don't generally consider the Dave Matthews/John Mayer/Matchbox 20 set as my proverbial bag. But I've also got to admit that there are certain days—certain moods on certain days, actually—on which music by that particular singer-songwriter subset and the artists it encompasses seems absolutely perfect. Add to those artists Georgia-based roots rocker Michael Tolcher, whose debut, I Am (Octone) proves that the age of soaring pop melodies and rock-driven, folktastic songwriting are still alive and well both inside and outside the mainstream.

Tolcher's songs range from graceful power ballads with trip-hop undertones to straight-ahead Americana rockers, which gives his debut that rare sort of depth that demands rapt attention and pays off with lyrics and hooks that lodge themselves painlessly between the ears.

Rising star Gavin DeGraw is the headliner here, but Michael Tolcher may turn out to be the one to watch.