15 September 2008
15 September 2008
|Josh Ritter (full band) & Dawn Landes & Kate Walsh - Alban Arena - 5th April 2008|
Review by Jonathan Aird
Now, I must have had a good time last Monday as here I am again to see Josh Ritter, this time in a slightly larger (capacity 1,000) theatre venue. The stalls seats had been removed to give a large standing area, but I'm up in the circle seating. Different feel - somewhat older audience, also a few children. No mirror balls. This gig hasn't sold out, so when Kate Walsh comes on stage at 7:30 there are quite a few empty seats and the stalls standing is a bit sparse to say the least.
Kate Walsh was a new name to me, she has quite a nice voice and accompanies herself on acoustic guitar. First couple of songs - 5th Of November and The French Song - were ok, a bit downbeat and lovelorn. The next song, about an ex-boyfriend was a bit downbeat and lovelorn, there were a couple of more songs in a similar vein, then she introduced a song as being about the same ex-boyfriend in happier times before he was ex. It was a bit downbeat and lovelorn. Voice is fine; guitar is ok, songs not that bad but really needs to work on the variety as they merged into the same song after a while.
First interval, and we decided to move to better seats overlooking the stage from the side. I had a chat with one of the theatre ushers who said it was unlikely to be a problem as they'd only sold about 300 tickets. Shock and disbelief. Well, shock anyway - I'd seen the fliers sent out for this gig which had rather emphasized Josh's latest album making the Radio 2 play list, which is probably designed to put off the younger music fan. And as the night went on it was clear that not many had turned up who hadn't got tickets in advance. Does seem odd that even advertising in Time Out hadn't brought in a London crowd - St Albans is barely outside London after all, and there's a late train back after midnight, plenty safe when the gig is timed to end at 11pm.
Dawn Landes came out at 8:30 with Ray Rizzo and gave pretty much the same set as Monday, with perhaps one song less. Oddly her set doesn't include the only track I can recall hearing on the radio: her cover of Tom Petty's "Won't back down", which is a hidden track at the end of her Fireproof album. She seemed a little bit hurried tonight, but still a good set - sung highlight of the acoustic numbers was I Don't Need A Man, non-sung highlight was Josh and the band dancing across the back of the stage! Of the three electric numbers Kids In A Play and Bodyguard were both excellent. On the album she plays these acoustic, it would be great to get the electric versions somewhere (bonus tracks on a single perhaps ?).
Another short interval before Josh Ritter and band bounded onto the stage. If there's any dissapointment at the size of the crowd they hide it completely, kicking off straight into a totally superb Mind's Eye, following this up right away with To The Dogs Or Whoever and Right Moves. It's the same opening as last Monday, but it's a great showcase of 3 of the latest album's liveliest tracks.
As expected the night continues with mainly songs from the last 2 albums; Girl In The War provides Wolves, Monster Ballads, Girl In The War (sung with the lights off); Historical Conquests is also raided for The Temptation Of Adam, Open Doors, a totally rocking Rumours, Real Long Distance, Next To The Last Romantic, and the set closer of Empty Hearts (during which under Josh Ritter's direction the stalls sing to the circle, and the circle sings back to the stall). We also got a very extended Kathleen and Harrisburg, and again a wonderful When I Paint My Masterpiece (perhaps singing a Dylan song is a way of accepting the obvious comparisons?), possibly a couple of others. The song in the dark is a real highlight, forcing you to listen properly to the lyrics â€“ not necessarily during these songs but at both gigs there were things that I hadnâ€™t picked up on from the albums that suddenly live clicked into place and I realised what a particular phrase meant. That's a pretty good trick to achieve live.
Only a two song encore - Rank Strangers with Dawn Landes and Ray Rizzo helping out, and a rousing closer of Lillian Egypt, again with Josh directing the sing-a-long part, Dawn Landes vamping on the keyboards and Ray Rizzo dancing around the stage with a high hat, whilst the band struck guitar poses. And for some reason the words "Rolling Thunder Review" passed through my mind.
And it had all gone really well, even the slow dance had worked this time, there were anecdotes aplenty between songs (Josh Ritter seems to be prone to medical emergencies - supporting Joan Baez whilst wearing a pirate eye patch is a highly amusing image). But tonight only the tie and the jacket got loosened - Josh didn't look like he was melting. Those in the audience had got a great, nay a fabulous gig, 700 had missed out. Very strange.
|David Ferrard and Friends - Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh - 6th April 2008|
Review by Graeme Scott
This concert was to effectively launch the new and rather excellent album "Broken Sky". However David had invited along many of the top class musicians who played on the recording and they joined him on stage in variable combinations. This augmented the sound for sure and David also gave those artists space to showcase a song or two from their own repertoire. So we, the audience, were treated to feast of Roots, Folk, Americana and contemporary singer/songwriters and some very classy music. Just to get some of the names out of the way there were Josh Goforth, Laura Boosinger, Roy Bailey, Kim Edgar, Yvonne Lyon, James Ross, Karen Dietz, The Cast and Sandy Butler. So you can see that the company was very high quality. Let us leave aside those artists and concentrate on the reason we were all there. David Ferrard may well be a new name to you but that will not last long. He is a very accomplished writer with a clutch of songs ranging from lovely traditional ballads, biting protest anti war and globalisation anthems on through to heartbreaking paeans and musings of loves and friendships lost. It is often hard to think back the next day to which songs impressed you the most but not today. 'Dimitri's Pocket Radio' as fine a song about asylum seekers being overlooked as just simply human beings as you will ever hear. There can be few that were not reflecting on the futility of war to the strains of 'Hills Of Virginia'. Often couples fail to allow themselves time to concentrate on themselves and 'Take Me Out Waltzing Tonight' speaks volumes on those forgotten needs. Highlight of David's own songs was the powerful, sad and haunting 'Never Let Go'. Written with sensitive understanding it tells the story of a man who has lost so much to AIDS. I could go on but will simply end by saying seek out this artist and album.
|The Peter Donegan Band - The Jam House, Edinburgh - 9th April 2008|
Review by Graeme Scott
The family name is the same, the cheeky grin and on-stage banter similar, plus a set list comprising his father's famous songs but there the comparison has to stop. This was not a tribute act. Lonnie's son has taken the songs dusted them off and given them a 2008 makeover. For those wanting new versions of familiar songs which, in every sense of the word, formed the foundation of all that is good in British music today then they need look no further. This has been achieved by selecting choice cuts from the likes of The Weavers, Huddie Ledbetter, Woodie Guthrie alongside traditional songs discovered by the Lomax brothers and singing them with the same passion and respect that infused every concert by Lonnie. These songs are a blend of pure folk, blues, country and lashings of foot stomping rock and roll, which leave you feeling great. As with the Springsteen's Seeger Sessions, it is good to take a look back at where we've come from and remember a time when everybody could make music with the simplest of instruments. I will not insult your musical knowledge by doing a set list with material that was a very worthy homage to skiffle and it's rightful place in British musical history. Instead I will say simply that I truly had a great time at this gig. Peter carries the legacy that is Lonnie Donegan with pride and honour.
|Alex Cornish - The Ark, Edinburgh - 8th April 2008|
Review by Graeme Scott I caught Alex and his band, coincidentally in the same venue, about three months ago. On that occasion it was the very first time they had all played live together and it showed a little. As you would expect they were all a bit tentative and nervous. Last night it was clear just how much work had gone into working this four-piece up to becoming one unit. For sure this is very much Alex's baby. He is the focus of the band, being the composer, singer and musical director however they all looked much more comfortable together. So what did we get for our money? Well the evening was kicked off by the rather excellent Edinburgh singer Kim Edgar with songs from her album "Butterflies And Broken Glass". She is well worth checking out. Alex began his set just sitting alone at the piano singing a stripped to basics version of the current single 'Untied'. As a song it works beautifully in either mode but I like it in this naked exposed way. Joined now by his anonymous colleagues, come on Alex give them a name check please, we were whisked fairly briskly through most of the current album "Until The Traffic Stops". So amidst loads of swirling keyboards and strident acoustic guitar 'Same Ride Same Way', 'My Word What A Mess' 'This One's For You' & 'Scotland The Brave' came our way. On the latter Alex even managed to break his harmonica. There is loads of light and shade in his music as on the lovely 'Song For Kate', 'Lights On' and 'Looking Out' and with such energy and talent I predict Alex Cornish is a name we will hear a lot of in the coming months.
|Laura Bossinger and Josh Goforth - Acoustic Music Club, Kirkcaldy - 10th April 2008|
Review by Graeme Scott
Last night I slipped through a hole in the space time continuum and found myself back in the late 1800's and early 1900's experiencing the unique talents of Laura and Josh. Such is their depth of knowledge, understanding and reverence to these wonderful tunes which, in some cases stretch even further back in time, that you can really imagine what pure joy singing these tunes means to them. Call it what you will, be it Americana, Country, Folk, Bluegrass, Roots or perhaps, more accurately, a mix of them all this was a master class in Appalachian music. Drawing extensively from Laura's solo album "Down The Road" and the joint new production "Most Of All" we were treated to Carter Family, Smathers Brothers, Doc Watson, Charlie Acuff songs and tunes and many more items from far to many sources to mention here. This was also very much an evening where you were, as an audience member, fully integrated into the show. The thing about music like this is the fact that it just so natural to join in the singing. It matters not a jot about the quality of your voice. The songs are so catchy and infectious that you are taking part without realising it or being self-conscious. So whether it was 'Dixie Darling', 'Tom Dula', 'I'm S-A-V-E-D', 'Peace Precious Peace', 'Cannonball', 'Handsome Molly' or 'When The Roses Bloom In Dixieland' that floated your boat in particular there was something for everyone. If really pushed I would have to select 'Single Girl, Married Girl', which was the first hit for the Carter Family. 'Banjo Picking Girls' a song about a manufactured girl band (yes it was happening way back then as well) and a lovely version of the Joe Newbury song 'Baby I'm Blue' as my particular favourites. Really though, through two hour long sets, I thought this was a delightful way to spend an evening and there was such a nice atmosphere in this club. Outside, and returned once again to the twenty-first century, looking back did I just catch a fleeting glimpse of a disappearing Blue Police Box? Maybe, you never know!
|The Curst Sons â€“ Rose & Crown, Sussex - 13th April 2008|
Review by Mike Morisson
It still seems strange seeing a live gig at a pub on a sunny Sunday afternoon, made doubly so by the fact that the music is eerie & is being played by the brilliant Curst Sons. Anyone who has seen them & appreciates their take on â€˜Hillbilly Bluesâ€™ would probably agree they should be playing to huge concert hall audiences, but their lack of mainstream fame is to the benefit of those of us that frequent the pubs, clubs & festivals of England! Whenever Iâ€™ve seen them at larger venues they are, in spite of there being only three permanent group members, able to dominate the hall with the sheer power of the music & the quality of their singing & playing, made all the more remarkeable when you consider there is no bass or drums. The only percussion used is, occasional tambourine or spoons, fairly frequently the washboard & for most of the time Williâ€™s (Kerr, lead vocals, banter & percussion) amazing percussion stick! This is not a set up for a stupid piece of humour, but this stick is a strong driving force behind the music. It is basically a wooden broom handle with a rubber stopper on the bottom & hung with wires, laden with beer bottle tops & thumped on a wooden box! The description doesnâ€™t really do it credit. It really has to be seen/heard to be believed! Dave Simner keeps everything flowing brilliantly with his guitar & banjo playing as well as occasional vocals. Then there is Tim Dunkerley, who should probably be termed the experimentalist! He plays various acoustic & electric guitars with several different effects & loves to play the mandolin as well as his guitars with a slide, as well as chipping in with some of the vocals!
They really shouldnâ€™t be as entertaining as they actually are, their songs in the main, being based on death, disaster, murder & mayhem, with a little gospel thrown in! The beauty is that whilst they do take their music seriously & play their dark themed songs with tremendous passion, at the same they donâ€™t take themselves too seriously, thus avoiding any sense of gloominess. They are far removed from being a comedy group but often there is humour bubbling just under the surface. I would defy all but the most expert Blues/Americana musicologists to differentiate between some of the classic hillbilly & blues songs & the originals that the Sons have written themselves. Surely sooner or later one or more of the American alt.country community are going to seize onto one or more of their songs & give them the wider cult fame their talent so richly deserves. I know that Mark Lamarr is a great fan of theirs & feels the same way. A lot has been said at times about them being a Bluegrass band. This should be dispelled immediately, if only for the sake of those attending that expect the sweet sounding fiddle driven sounds. They are not, never have been & almost certainly never will play â€˜Bluegrassâ€™. Bluegrass started in the late 1940â€™s as an off shoot of â€˜Old timeâ€™ or â€˜Hillbillyâ€™ but with elements of blues. The Curst Sons music is as much anchored in the blues as hillbilly & most of the time is in the purer 1920â€™s â€“ 1930â€™s form but with their own modern take on it, & with not a fiddle in sight. They are definitely not copyists & put what is completely their own interpretation on these rich music forms. The two elements come from the same base but are entirely different branches.
Anyway, on to the gig. There was pretty much a full house, it being the third time the Sons have played at this attractive pub & word had obviously got around that a good time could be had! The set list has been added & will show the initiated that there is an excellent blend of classic early 20th century songs & originals from their three terrific albums. Highlights are virtually impossible to select, there being something for everyone, no weak links & everything from ballads to real rock outs! Williâ€™s lead vocals range from the restrained on songs such as their own composition â€˜Young brideâ€™ to real power on Charley Pattonâ€™s â€˜Oh Deathâ€™ & then to an absolute roar (if his voice holds up!) on â€˜She is goneâ€™. Tim takes several leads on the classic Blind Willie Johnson song â€˜Nobodyâ€™s fault but mineâ€™ & the also classic â€˜John Hardyâ€™, all the time being driven on by Daveâ€™s classy guitar or banjo playing & supporting vocals. John Hardy is a good example of where they are with their music; it having been recorded several hundred times by â€˜Countryâ€™ as well as â€˜Bluesâ€™ musicians.
The gig as is usually the case with this band seemed to end all too soon, despite the fact they had played 2 sessions spread over about two & a half hours, but at least the more than satisfied crowd wouldnâ€™t let them finish until they had done 3 encores & most would have happily settled for more. The band have gradually spread their wings & now cover a large part of this country. Give yourself a real treat; the next time they are in your area, go & see them.
Hope Need Want
On the road again
When I give you my love
Help the Poor Struggler
|Karine Polwart - Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline - 16th April 2008|
Review by Graeme Scott
I seem to make a habit of missing the support when Karine comes to town. On this occasion it was Kim Edgar and she had been support at another recent concert I did see so I know what I missed and heard that she went down really well, backed by Karine and her band. My tardiness also led me to miss part of Karine's first set. With a new album "This Earthly Spell" and its songs to draw from this "folk" concert could not have been further removed from the finger in the ear brigade that I remember in the sixties. Karine and her band, brother Steven guitar/vocals, Mattie Faulds drums, Kevin McGuire double bass/vocals and Inge Thomson accordion/vocals along with Kim on piano produce a sound which at times crosses the barriers between a little jazz and new country but firmly rooted in the folk tradition. The result is a very contemporary and arresting sound that might be described as New Folk. Karine's songs, often reflecting the darker side of human life, social and political activities are subjects delivered in songs constructed in the folk style of narrative story telling. However even though the subject matter may be disturbing she does not come over at all preachy. Instead you are left to think on her musings and come to your own conclusions. Much of the between song dialogue was very Scottish with lashings of humour which was engaging and a welcome lift from some of the heavier songs. Just goes to show that you can mix and match material and hold an audience. And what cracking material we got including 'Rivers Run', 'Firethief' & 'Sorrowlesfield' from the new album were very classy. We sang along to older songs like 'I'm Gonna Do It All' and 'The Sun's Comin' Over The Hill' whilst sitting entranced by the outstanding 'The Learig' & 'Dowie Dens of Yarrow'. Closing the show with the well-known 'Daisy' & 'Follow The Heron Home', two more straight out of the top drawer, sent the mid-sized crowd home very satisfied.
|Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express & Wily Vlautin & Paul Brainard - Borderline, London - 24th April 2008|
Review by Jonathan Aird
Blimey, I haven't been to The Borderline for a long time: it's still as small, dingy and sweaty as ever but not smoky anymore which is a blessing. I'd arrived in time to be fairly near the stage, as the club continued to fill it became distinctly warm, which did nothing to drag me out of a semi-comatose stupor.
I've wanted to see Richmond Fontaine for some time and this is my half a chance as the support is half of that band. And Wily Vlautin & Paul Brainard kick things off with, perhaps my favourite Richmond Fonatine song : Western Skyline. One of the things I love about this song is the endless pedal steel solo which builds and repeats as if it could go on forever; but tonight it seems a little truncated. For me the set continued to not quite click, so although I enjoyed "$87 and a bad conscience" and "I fell into painting" with Vlautin narrating the unsavoury lives of America's forgotten poor. An extended version of Walter's postcards from "Post to the wire" was like a chapter from a great novel you've never read. There was also a fine pedal steel instrumental which came from the soundtrack CD issued with Vlautin's recent novel. Brainard is a master of pedal steel and really extracts some weird sounds from it, his trumpet playing also added layers of haunting colour tones to Vlautin's tales of desperate lives. But it wasn't really until Todd Roper (drums) and Kevin White (bass) joined in on the last couple of songs (including a fine Out of State) that the set really notched up to where it should have been. I was glad I'd seen them, and I'd still like to catch the whole band.
I'd been much impressed with Chuck Prophet as Green on Red's guitarist at their Astoria gig in 2006, but I have to admit that I wasn't at all familiar with his solo work. The Mission Express consists of Todd Roper,Kevin White, Stephanie Finch (keyboards & vocals) and James Deprado (guitar), and they were a tight unit playing free and expressively; Deprado contributed some excellent slide guitar which brilliantly complemented Prophet's soloing.
Pretty much on the first song I was hit by the similarity of Prophet's vocals to Tom Petty, and lyrically there is also an echo of Petty. The band are certainly no pastiche of The Heartbreakers, but there is a definite resemblance to them circa early 1980's However Prophet's guitar playing is streets ahead of Petty's, which gives him added frontman presence as he fires off fiery solos and audacious riffing throughout the gig as well as handling the vocals. At times reminiscent of Neil Young with chunky one string solos, at other times producing blistering fiery attacks.
The Soap and Water album formed the backbone of the set, but live a lot of the clean production has been exchanged for harsh, fluid and sometimes just beautiful guitar noise explosions. I can only hope that these live interpretations are being squirreled away for later release as the alternative picture they paint of the band is a stunning one. There were times in the set when any right thinking person would have made the decision- yes, I'll get tickets for all shows in future and follow The Mission Express from town to town and they will be my life. "You Did" was one such, and the hypnotic "A Women's Voice" was another - the repetitive drone of the guitars, the seductive slide work, was enough to get you to sign on the line - just play that for the rest of the night and I'll be happy. And this is all that you could want from a rock band - that the music can transcend itself and reach a higher meditative state where realisation and vision become possible. Or, put more simply, it was pretty damn good.
The first encore - Chuck on acoustic guitar announces that he and Willy Vlautin are going to massacare a song, but since it isn't one of his it doesn't matter - they then proceed to turn Green On Red's "Keep on movin' " into a stripped down tale of failure and remorse. Superb. The closer of Happy Ending was both appropriate and final.
A truly excellent night, and this is a band that is now on my keep track of list.
Review by Mike Morrison
Iâ€™ve been looking forwards to this gig for quite a while, although initially I didnâ€™t realise the S.T.F.U. were on the bill as well. I have listened regularly to both of Eilenâ€™s beautiful albums â€˜Boundary Countyâ€™ & â€˜Letters from Sinners & Strangersâ€™ with great anticipation for the day I could see her perform live. It was only when I checked co-promoter Shaun Whitehouseâ€™s â€˜ Gilded Palce of Sinâ€™ web site that I realised that we could be in for a treat with Pat McGarveys newest brainchild! Although the band was his idea (he wrote most of the gorgeous songs on their first album â€˜Southern Tenant Folk Unionâ€™) he makes everyone aware of the fact that he is only one sixth of this superb & difficult to describe band. It is always problematic trying to categorize music, but from a review the reader needs to be able to form a judgement of what they can expect in going to a future show of an artist they are unfamiliar with. It would be an over simplification to call this band Bluegrass, as they have been labelled in some quarters. Whilst I like a lot of that genre, much of it can sometimes seem bland & can almost, as a listening experience be put in with the rhinestones & hat acts so prevalent & poular in country music nowadays. The S.T.F.U are so much more than that. Certainly they play Bluegrass but nowhere can the word â€˜blandâ€™ be used when describing them. On the contrary they attack the music in much the same way as a punk band might, but with superb musicianship, & six individual but interlocking styles. The harmonizing of the instruments as well as the singing is quite incredible at times, but on a song such as â€˜Cocaineâ€™, the vocal harmonies seem to reach up to a different level.
They were first on stage; the six members of the band are the aforementioned Pat McGarvey on Banjo, Oliver Talkes & Pete Gow on Guitars, Eamon Flynn on Mandolin, Matt Lloyd upright Bass & Francis Vaux on Fiddle. Most of them do their share of vocals although Oliver Talkes takes most of the lead vocals at this gig & on their albums. It is fascinating to think that all of the members are quite capable of frontman (woman in the case of Francis Vaux) duties in a band of their own, yet choose to be constituents of this amazing melting pot. Itâ€™s difficult to find the superlatives to describe the life, passion & sheer all round joy (despite the gloomy content of some of their songs!) in their music without seemingly going totally over the top. During the much too short 45 minutes that they played, Pat McGarvey probably summed it up when he said that one of the songs had been written after listening to the music of Dillard & Clark. (In fact with continuos listening to their 2 albums & the relative difference in budgets, Dillard & Clark at their very best!) That is not to say they are copying this legendary band; far from it in fact, although a huge influence, they put their own interpretation on the style as they do with the various other styles they play. The music is all acoustic & has many of the elements of Bluegrass, American & English Folk, Country rock, all played with a real alt.country edge. The impression I got was that their music has arrived at the place they want it to be. Even Talkes vocals at times are reminiscent of Gene Clark. That is not to say he sounds exactly like him but he has that same quality to his voice; call it soul or passion but the feel is definitely there. They all chip in to varying degrees with the songwriting as well, but McGarvey seemed to me to be the furthest along the songwriter path, possibly due to his experience with bands like the Coal Porters, who he has been with for the last 15 years. It is easy to see why he wanted to set up his own band. The Coal Porters were obviously & justifiably dominated by Sid Griffin where to a lesser degree the same might be said about McGarvey in this band. Iâ€™m sure he must feel totally vindicated & immensely proud of the fact that he is succeeding with his own music & in drawing superb like minded musicians to his cause. This particular evening it was difficult to pick out highlights; there being no weaknesses at all. There was the amazing aforementioned â€˜Cocaineâ€™, fast songs that went more in the direction of bluegrass, several ballads; there was a really heartfelt vocal/guitar solo by Pete Gow â€˜No more hard timesâ€™, plus a lovely song by Francis Vaux entitled â€˜Changeling childâ€™. All of the singers had entirely different vocal approaches but it was all brought together by the superb ensemble playing & commitment of the whole band. For the last song they even switched off the microphones came down off the stage & played one last time. As I said earlier they play Bluegrass but also play much more. Americana is probably the only label for them.
There was a short break whilst the crowd got their breath back. (o.k. got their glasses filled!). We were all spellbound by what we had seen & wondering how poor Eilen & her band were going to follow that! I should have realised, having listened to her c.dâ€™s that she was no ordinary performer. She kicked off with the lovely mid tempo â€˜Rich manâ€™s worldâ€™ & it was immediately apparent that she could do no wrong. With the sophistication of modern recording technology it is often difficult to tell if the c.d is really how the artiste sounds. In most cases the vocals, if not the performance, sound better than they do when heard live. In the case of Eilen this is totally untrue. Iâ€™ve seen some of the great female Country/ Americana singers of the last few decades & she is easily up with & perhaps ahead of most of the best. Itâ€™s difficult to explain, but she seemed to me to light up when she sang. Iâ€™m always aware that tastes vary hugely & itâ€™s difficult to say someone is better than someone else. For me Eilen is the perfect female singer. She has a hugely appealing almost lazy drawl to her singing that separates her from most others. Added to that is the fact that she is unafraid to tackle any song. I love the song â€˜Boundary Countyâ€™ off of her album of the same name, but live the song is taken to a different level. Almost mesmerising. She also sang Loretta Lynnâ€™s â€˜Fist cityâ€™ which helped you to forget Loretta had ever sung it. The highlight was when she announced she was going to sing the late great Billie Holidayâ€™s â€˜Fine & mellowâ€™, it having been finally agreed between her & her superb guitarist, Jerry Miller, that Billie actually wrote the song. I am a huge fan of Billie Holiday so it is not easy to say it, but her version was at least the equal of any of Billieâ€™s recorded versions. There is so much character & personality in everything she sings. Even her between song banter with the audience & her three superb band members is appealing. Talking of her band, they are the the perfect foil for her. Jerry Miller is a truly superb country / western swing player. At times it was difficult to see how anyone could play so fast & with such accuracy, yet when necessary he was just as capable of making a few notes do the trick. Drummer Jason Beek kept the beat going all the way through & joined in with his excellent support vocals. Johnny Sciascia was at times mesmerising on upright bass. You could almost imagine him playing lead lines on it! Most of the songs, as can be seen on the enclosed set list, were her own excellent originals. As with her two albums there was no filler, mind you, as someone once said of someone else, â€˜Iâ€™d turn up to hear her sing the phone bookâ€™! If she is still on tour when this review comes out & you like country music with an edginess to it go & see her, or for that matter S.T.F.U. You will probably not be as fortunate as we who saw both in one evening, but you definitely wonâ€™t be disappointed whichever you see.
Her loveâ€™s gone cold
Never got the best
Back to front
Let it roll
All you need to know
Can you light a flame
No more hard times
Here in the dock
Rich mans world
Where they never say your name
Back to Dallas
Too hot to sleep
High shelf booze
Fine & mellow
Gotta get right
So long blues
Thanks a lot