The newfound gravitas that permeates John Darnielle’s anxious and elegant new Mountain Goats album, Transcendental Youth, arrives courtesy of horns arranger Matthew E. White. The guitarist-founder of Richmond, Virginia, slipstream jazz combo Fight the Big Bull, White is also a ’70s-channeling blue-eyed soul singer—a bearish, white Barry White, if you will. He has a terrific solo debut titled Big Inner (get it?), and his nine-piece group will open for the Goats during the bands’ two-venue, four-day NYC visit this week. White’s slow, sexy, funky outfit breezed through Big Inner like a warm summer wind at the Mercury Lounge a couple of months ago, stirring together gospel, reggae, and yacht rock into a sweet mellow haze. Don’t be surprised if it billows and swells with even more authority this time around when he opens for the Mountain Goats.
Sat., Oct. 13, 9 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 14, 9 p.m., 2012