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Rock along with alt rock darling Courtney Barnett at the House of Blues

The singer-songwriter is set to take her distinctive lyrics to the HOB stage on Sept. 12.

Courtney Barnett OK McCausland/The New York Times

Courtney Barnett, arguably one of alternative rock’s most recognizable voices and lyricists over the last few years, had every intention of visiting Boston last February — until COVID got in the way.

A positive test scuttled Barnett’s Feb. 8 Wang Theatre show, part of the tour behind her latest album, “Things Take Time, Take Time.” But now she’s back twice over: First as part of her Here and There Festival at Mass MoCA Aug. 13, and then in September with a headlining show at the House of Blues.

And the reviews seem to indicate that the indie darling, whose dry, clever lyrics and wry storytelling abilities have earned her comparisons to Bob Dylan, is definitely worth giving a second chance.


“The singer wound down with ‘Pedestrian at Best,’ which felt like a punch to the gut,” Consequence of Sound wrote in a review of Barnett’s first post-pandemic show last November in California. “A mosh pit quickly formed, and you could tell no one wanted the show to end. Alas, Barnett wrapped the set with ‘Oh The Night’ and ‘Before You Gotta Go.’ A perfect ending to a beautiful night under the stars.”

And by all accounts Barnett is still bringing her best to her live shows, with Rock Cellar calling a recent Los Angeles stop “an excellent performance from start to finish.”

“There’s a reason Courtney Barnett has become a revered figure in the indie/rock scene,” Adrian Garro wrote. “Her albums are thoughtful and inspired slabs of grunge-y, lyrical melancholia that all work together to form a rather undeniable power — and that power translates seamlessly to the stage.”

As if that weren’t enough, Barnett has another very special project underway: She’s releasing a limited edition run of 600 cassette tapes — or digital download, if that’s more your bag — featuring Here and There Festival artists, with all funds raised going to the National Network of Abortion Funds and Advocates for Youth. You can check it out at Bandcamp.

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