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Reach for the crown

Poor Kings charm Twilight Tunes with folksy pop

The Poor Kings made their Twilight Tunes debut last year.

The Dallas five-piece returns today with its polished pop-folk rock and radio-worthy guitar hooks.

Fronted by the butter-smooth vocalist Mike Marshall, the band makes the kind of music that appeals to both folk fans and the easy-listening set. Anchored by Marshall, guitarist and keyboard player Michael Armstrong and drummer Ben Holt, who sharpened his chops with 7 Channels, the Poor Kings’ sound is fleshed out with Chris Peake’s bass and Erik Herbst’s guitar.

“Me and You and the Snow” shows the band’s folksy side in a love song delivered with an ever-so-slight twang of guitar and mid-range keys. In “Let Me Be There for You,” the Poor Kings trot out expert song-crafting, from easy, soft drumming to alt-country harmonies.

Vocally, Marshall sounds like a second cousin to John Mayer, and musically, the band could easily share a bill with Folk Angel, the sonically mature band that spun out of the worship team at the Village Church in Flower Mound. It’s not easy to make music that is both inoffensive but substantial, but the Poor Kings does it with poise and interest.

Twilight Tunes is from 6:30 to 8 p.m. every Thursday on the lawn of the Courthouse on the Square, 110 W. Hickory St. Attendees are welcome to bring blankets and chairs. Locals and visitors are urged to buy dinner from nearby restaurants — or linger after the music to enjoy desserts and drinks.

Denton Main Street Association presents the concert series every Thursday through July 3, with a bonus morning concert on the Fourth of July.

Up next week at Twilight Tunes: a Texas singer-songwriter showcase with Jeff Glover, Joe Pat Hennen and Brian Houser.

— Lucinda Breeding