Hailed for its seamless shifting of musical styles and sophisticated character arcs, Mikal Shapiro’s 2015 album, “The Musical,” was a standout piece of work. This weekend, the singer-songwriter returns with her follow-up full-length release, “The Musical II.” “[The album] feels like a bus stop a few years down the road from the original,” Shapiro said. Like its predecessor, “The Musical II” is divided into two acts — ranging from lush, dramatic retellings of lost American stories to playful observations of the human condition. It’s also her second release with a core group of acclaimed instrumentalists from Kansas City’s jazz, rock and folk scenes — guitarist Chad Brothers, bassist Johnny Hamil and drummer Matt Richey. “My bandmates are adventurous beasts at ease with the twists and turns of my songwriting now more than ever,” she said. “The new work reflects their flexibility and creativity. We’ve made it to another stop. We are stretching out and processing the scenery we’ve passed.” “Everybody’s Baby” is the album’s lead single — featuring the core four, and guest appearances from Hermon Mehari on trumpet and Damon Parker on Wurlitzer piano. The accompanying video was filmed by Sara Perkins and Clarke Wyatt and edited by Shapiro. Here’s The Bridge’s premiere of “Everybody’s Baby,” by Mikal Shapiro.
This Saturday, Shapiro releases “The Musical II” at The Buffalo Room, with CDs available for purchase. Violinist Tina Bilberry (K’Tina), who performed on the album, will open with a solo set, followed by Shapiro and her band. Tickets are available. —Michelle Bacon