Show: Saturday at Hill Country Barbecue. Show starts at 9:30 p.m. 202-556-2050. www.hillcountrywdc.com. No cover charge.
Zane Campbell was born into one of the most revered clans of old-time country music. His aunt was the legendary singer-songwriter Ola Belle Reed, and his uncle was Alex Campbell, a bluegrass singer who hosted shows at the country-music parks along the Pennsylvania/Maryland border. Zane, however, took a detour that led him to the New York rock scene, where Tommy Ramone produced a still-unreleased album of Zane’s songs. Both the family heritage and the punk detour are reflected in his music.
“Zane Campbell,” his new solo album, boasts the traditional country sounds of fiddle, upright bass, pedal steel and the singer’s acoustic guitar. But the big-lunged lead vocals boast a rock-and-roll edginess, more likely to confront than placate the listener. Campbell sings his aunt’s signature song, “High on a Mountain,” and joins his brother, Hugh (also a gifted singer-songwriter), for a duet on “Though I Don’t Know You Now.” But Zane departs from the family legacy on the honky-tonk kiss-off “Save Your Breath,” the Lou Reed-tinged “Fess Up” and the bagpipe-backed, anti-war lament “Bringing the Boys Home.”
Campbell is also featured in the new book “Ola Belle Reed and Southern Mountain Music on the Mason-Dixon Line,” a look at the fertile, underappreciated music scene where Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware meet. Written by three academics — Henry Glassie, Clifford R. Murphy and Douglas Dowling Peach — the lavishly illustrated book of interviews, history and analysis comes with two audio CDs featuring 58 tracks of unadorned but memorable field recordings. Zane sings lead on four tracks, and the others showcase his aunt, uncle, brother and their neighbors.