For those acquainted with this Brazilian guitarist/singer, her new release, “Wonderland” (Edge), follows up her new less avant-garde, more radio-friendly musical direction. Produced in Brazil by cellist Jacques Morelembaum, Assad goes deeper within her Brazilian roots by taking on northeastern and middle-country beats; her treatment of “United States of Piauí,” a satire on the impact of U.S. culture, is both funny and heartwarming, as she plays it with a distinctive xaxado beat. The album also includes a personal cover of The Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams,” delivered with an emotional acoustic treatment that updates the original’s Europop sensibilities; her duet with Seu Jorge on the bluesy “Vacilão” (Loser) is a truly magical moment. In a live setting, Assad often plays solo, using both her guitar and body as instruments. By inserting a drumstick between the strings and the fretboard, she creates an impromptu koto, and beats her hands against her chest and face to create percussive effects. Assad possesses a unique vocal style, and her classically trained guitar fingering is worth the ticket alone. (Ernest Barteldes)
October 11 at Hothouse.