Shelby Earl

Thanks to the Kentucky Derby, May marks the lone month of the year when Americans pay attention to the once-great sport of thoroughbred racing. So forgive us if we resort to a bit of pony parlance when describing the Shelby Earl-Ghosts I've Met pairing as a strong double entry—i.e., when you get two quality horses for the price of one in a single wager. At the track, this increases your odds of winning but might cut into your profit margin if and when you cash in. At the Columbia City Theater, it just increases your odds of winning; there's not downside to speak of. Earl's sensational solo debut, Burn The Boats, immediately puts her on the track with high-lonesome heroes like Rachel Flotard and Neko Case (her duet with the album's producer, John Roderick, is possibly the best ballad recorded by a Seattle artist this year). Ghosts I've Met, meanwhile, has a slew of excellent new music to trot out that's great for sipping whiskey to. With Curtains For You, Derby. MIKE SEELY

Sat., May 14, 9 p.m., 2011

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