Vincent Cross’ first listen to a bootleg Bob Dylan tape was among the most impactful moments of his teens. Inspired by the simplicity of the acoustic guitar, plus socially charged lyrics to counter the pop fluff he was used to, Cross became an informal scholar of the many American folk and blues musicians preceding him. And, with his ears brimming by graduation, he began a years-long nomadic European existence centered on writing and performing his own tunes. Cross eventually attracted bandmates, but the New Yorker-by-way-of-Australia’s 2016 album, Old Songs For Modern Folk, restores his stripped-down solo beginnings. Current issues like police brutality, immigration and foreign labor exploitation are presented with no audio effects or edits in this just-press-record collection. Cross plays from the album at Isis Restaurant & Music Hall on Saturday, Aug. 6, at 7 p.m. $10. isisasheville.com. Image courtesy of the artist
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