Ryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan to headline KCSN-FM benefit gigs

Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams will perform as part of public radio station KCSN-FM's annual benefit concerts.
Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams will perform as part of public radio station KCSN-FM’s annual benefit concerts.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Public radio station KCSN (88.5 FM) continues to solidify its place as a key mainstream alternative, one whose focus on rock, folk, blues and twangy Americana is well represented in its just-announced series of benefit concerts.

Over two consecutive Fridays in early December, the station, located on the campus of Cal State Northridge, will present concerts by a well-crafted roster of songwriting talent. The first, to take place Dec. 5, will feature multi-platinum Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan and striking young British folk-rock chanteuse Laura Marling. The following week, the men take over when Ryan Adams, Conor Oberst and David Gray arrive with guitars and new work.

The concerts double the offerings from last year’s annual concert, which featured the Rides (Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Barry Goldberg), Lucinda Williams and LP, and are perfect snapshots of the station’s format. With an ace morning show helmed by longtime left-of-dial programmer and music supervisor Nic Harcourt, KCSN delivers sounds long on history and tradition and short on trendiness.


One particular tidbit for Laura Marling devotees (like myself): word is that the acclaimed artist, whose most recent album, “Once I Was an Eagle,” was one of the best of 2013, will be debuting her new band at the KCSN gig. For fans of her work, the notion of them being fueled by a reenergized electric outfit is something to anticipate.

Tickets for the two concerts go on sale to the general public Thursday (a day earlier for station members) through Ticketmaster. For more information, check KCSN’s website.

Follow Randall Roberts on Twitter: @liledit