Big-Hearted Crooner 

Let's face it: The holiday season is shit for live music. Local bands go into hibernation, leaving our darling music scene at the mercy of the dreaded Trans-Siberian-Steamroller plague. One of the few good things about Christmas (besides Christmas) is the homecoming of KC expatriates such as Derren Raser, who took his acoustic guitar and unshakable croon to the sunny pastures of San Diego. With a knack for songcraft that comfortably surpasses the dapper-dandy pack, Raser blends the apple-pie charms of James Taylor with the melodic sensibilities of Andrew Bird. Nimbly sidestepping the groan-a-minute clichés that lay waste to lesser troubadours, D-Rad (that should be his nickname if it's not already) has already made inroads in the Bay Area and scored a runner-up trophy in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. What's more, he has a heart as big as his gelevated hairdo. Proceeds from his performance tonight at Westport Coffeehouse (4010 Pennsylvania, 816-756-3222) benefit the Harvesters community food network. Bring as much money or canned food as your Who-ish heart can afford. Derren Raser
Sun., Dec. 30, 2007

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