Lori McKenna at Club Passim 7/22/10

We were pretty stoked to see Lori McKenna at Passim, despite the pricey ticket. We had seen her once before, but only for a few songs and way before we even knew who she was. So, we’re counting this as our first Lori show. Opener John Gerard was a nice listen, but not something we would write home about. Perfectly fine for six songs, though!

Now to Lori. Honestly? We really, really love Lori, but the show wasn’t exactly what we had hoped for. We’re pretty sure we would’ve enjoyed the show so much more if she was solo; just Lori and her guitar. It’s the way she writes the songs, and if you ask us, it’s how they should played. With her, she had a keyboardist whose name we didn’t catch and Mark Erelli on guitar. We’ve seen Mark play backup for a few people, and while we do respect him and his craft, his electric guitar was one of the biggest complaints we had about the show. It was far louder than Lori’s voice and guitar, and we’ve never heard that at Passim before. We get why Lori has the band, but the best parts of the show were when the band left the stage and it was just Lori.

The other complaint we had was that Lori played mostly unrecorded songs. Now, we’re all for trying out new material for an audience, but TEN songs in a set of fifteen we thought was a bit much. We enjoyed what we heard, for the most part, but a want for the oldies and the goodies was palpable in the audience. Lori delivered a few (“Fireflies”, “Stealing Kisses”) but mostly focused on songs that A) we did not know and B) we could not listen to again. Seemed a bit strange to us. Her setlist, with the unrecorded song titles being pure guesses:

  • If He Tried
  • First Time You Hear Yourself Cry
  • Lorraine
  • The Luxury Of Knowing
  • Stealing Kisses
  • Witness To Your Life
  • If It’s All I Ever Do
  • How I Love That Man
  • How Romantic Is That?
  • Some Men Shatter
  • Your Next Lover
  • Sweet Disposition
  • Fireflies
  • Make Every Word Hurt

Like we said, not many songs you recognize, huh? We definitely don’t regret going—”Stealing Kisses” was probably worth the $30—but we probably wouldn’t shell out as much to see Lori unless she were solo. She’s a folk staple for a reason, but we’re holding out for a better first impression.

(This is what we wanted, Lori!)

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Kris Delmhorst at Club Passim 7/20/10

This show was totally last-minute for us. Some friends of ours (Susan and Mosh= folk community staples) were in the area and invited us to tag along to see Kris Delmhorst. We had heard her name before, but didn’t know any of her music and had never seen her. It was on our to-d0 list, however, so we were quite excited to experience her for the first time live. Hayward Williams opened for her, and then played with her during her set. We liked him well enough, though we think he still has some work to do in so far as stage presence. Couldn’t really hear what he was singing, but it sounded pretty. What he did over top of Kris’s music was quite lovely, though!

Which brings us to Kris Delmhorst! Our friends really hyped her up, and we were quite presently surprised to have those expectations met! What a stellar performer. First things first, the girl can write. I was writing down lyrics on the cocktail napkin because I didn’t want to forget them. She’s also got such a sweet voice; very listenable. If we had to describe her, we’d say she’s Dar Williams meets Edie Carey meets Kathleen Edwards. Definitely one of our favorite musical discoveries in recent history. Her set was as follows:

  • Anybody’s Heaven
  • Down To The Wire
  • Oleander
  • Hurricane
  • Real Mistakes (unrecorded)
  • Just What I Meant
  • Riverwide
  • Birds of Belfast
  • Turning Of The Wheel (Chip Smith Project Cover)
  • 1000 Reasons
  • If Not For Love
  • Open Road
  • Broken White Line
  • Water, Water
  • Highdiver

We didn’t have cash on us at Passim, but went home and downloaded all of these songs and more. We suggest you go ahead and do the same. She’s a gem, and we’re so glad to finally be familiar with her! And some folk gossip we didn’t know before the show: Kris is married to Jeffrey Foucault!

We Were Wrong!

Attention Readers:

That bore Amanda Rogers did NOT win Lilith Fair Boston. Turns out that the audience vote was only a part of the process.

And guess who did?

Guess.

Are you guessing?!

WINTERBLOOM! WEEEEEEEEE!

WE’RE SO EXCITED!

XXOXOXOOXXO

Trina Hamlin and Pamela Means at Club Passim 6-9-10

Trina Hamlin and Pamela Means put on one hell of a show this evening. Pamela started things off with some great guitar playing and hilarious stage presence. She reminds us of a female Steven Wright; awkward and hilarious. She reminds us a ton of Kimya Dawson, though we’re sure she’s heard that comparison plenty. We just purchased her song “Love and Dust” on iTunes and suggest you do the same. We weren’t familiar with much of Pamela’s music before, but she definitely played:

New Orleans
Love And Dust
Amsterdam
Love And Dust
Truth
Home

It was our first time seeing her, but we’d totally see her again. It was a fun little set.

(We think she was wearing that same outfit tonight!)

During the intermission, we spotted some familiar faces. One was folk photog god Bunty Burgin, and the other was slam-poet god Alix Olson. We have loved Alix since we were fifteen, so we were weak at the knees just to be in her presence. Her and Pamela were quite cozy…but that’s all we’ll say!

After the break, Trina went up and blew us away per usual. She is a friend of Folk Yourself, and we’re always so happy to run into her. She’s a lovely person, a talented musician, and a great friend to us. Her set was short, but a bunch of favorites–

Wounded Knee
In My Life
Come On
Centerpiece
Hey Hey
Can’t Stand The Rain (Tina Turner Cover)
Down To The Hollow
Living On Love

E:
Jacaranda (w/ Pamela Means)
Maggie’s Farm TH+PM(Bob Dylan Cover)

Highlights for us were the Tina Turner cover, Come On, and an eight-minute jam session on Maggie’s Farm. We’ve been begging Trina to relearn her song “Wrapped” for ages, and she promises to do it one day. We’re holding her to it!

Winterbloom at the WUMB Music Festival 6/6/10

If you’ve been reading this blog at all, you know we have a thing for the ladies of Winterbloom. We love each of them individually, but there’s something that happens when Natalia Zukerman, Anne Heaton, Antje Duvekot, and Meg Hutchinson are on the same stage swapping songs that goes beyond words. It just works. We were thrilled when the group went on their first tour last year, and saw both of their shows at Club Passim in December. They were the best shows we went to in 2009.

So it won’t come as any surprise to you when we say that the Winterbloom show at WUMB delivered like Dominos. The four ladies were in fine form, looking great, and entertaining a crowd of a few hundred festival goers. Because the fucking T broke down, we ended up missing the first few songs. But WUMB did mention they will reair the set, so check out their website for when that’s hitting the airwaves.

(I mean, how amazing are they? Really?!)

The ladies played a small set, but here’s what we got of it:

Maybe It’s Peace (Anne Heaton)
Four Stitches (Antje Duvekot)
Gas Station Roses (Natalia Zukerman)
Home (Meg Hutchinson)
Watching You Win (Anne Heaton)

We’d give you the highlights for us, but we’d just end up copying the whole set. Everything was perfect. The harmonies on “Home”, the wicked guitar on “Gas Station Roses”, the poetry of “Four Stitches”, or the message in “Maybe It’s Peace”—we loved everything about it.

The ladies will be going on tour again this winter, so keep checking here for tour dates as they’re posted.

Brandi Carlile- June 3rd, 2010 at House of Blues Atlantic City

You may have been following our tweets, but if you weren’t here’s the rundown on Brandi Carlile in Atlantic City the other night.

Opening the show was Vienna Teng, with The Paper Raincoat’s Alex Wong on percussion and vibes. We really enjoyed their set, but couldn’t help but feel they were playing the wrong room. We’d like to see them at Passim or World Cafe, but the House of Blues just wasn’t their venue. That being said, they didn’t let the obnoxiously drunk crowd faze them. They played the two songs we knew of Vienna’s before the show—”Gravity” and “Harbor”, both of which were beautiful—as well as a great tune called “City Hall” about civil unions. The highlight for us, though, was their cover of Radiohead’s “Idioteque”.

Brilliant cover! We’re still not sold on her being the best choice to open for Brandi Carlile, but then again, she’s yet to pick openers we think rival her. Maybe that’s the point. Here’s Vienna’s setlist, which isn’t in total order and maybe not complete. We know she definitely played:

Augustine
Antebellum
City Hall
The Tower
Gravity
Harbor
Idioteque (Radiohead Cover)
Grandmother Song

(One gripe: We couldn’t stand “Grandmother Song”. We don’t like clapalongs.)

Now, on to Brandi.

As we mentioned earlier, the crowd for this show was rather obnoxious. One blackout drunk woman persisted to welcome Brandi “back to the States” throughout the whole show, apparently unaware that Brandi is a citizen of this country. Other drunkies populated the audience, professing their devotion to BC and her various band members without end. We grew tired of it pretty quickly, but tried not to let it bother us. Though at moments like the unplugged version of Dying Day (video below), we couldn’t help wanting to kick them all in the shin.

Brandi looked and sounded great, and the band was on fire as always. But we couldn’t help but notice the show was nearly identical to the one we saw in October, right down to set arrangement. We see Brandi pretty often, so that might explain this small problem. Also, if it ain’t broke, why fix it, right? Highlights for us were the beautifully stripped-down version of I Will and the distorted version of Before It Breaks. Most notably though, we loved hearing The Twins do “Sound of Silence”.

So lovely.

We of course had a great time at the show, and loved running into our friends from AgainToday. Check out that site for all things Brandi, including a pretty damn active forum with lots of great Brandi fans.

Brandi’s setlist:

Oh Dear
Looking Out
What Can I Say
Late Morning Lullaby
My Song
I Will (Acoustic)
Closer To You (Acoustic)
Dreams
Before It Breaks
Caroline (w/ Vienna Teng)
Turpentine
The Story

Sound Of Silence (Simon and Garfunkel Cover)
Jackson/Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash Cover)
Pride And Joy

Next up, Boston Folk Festival on Sunday!

Happy Birthday, Brandi Carlile!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRANDI!

We’re huge fans of the Brandi Carlile, and are happy to wish her well on her 29th birthday! As a matter of fact, we’ll be seeing Ms. Carlile in less than 48 hours as she kicks off a new leg of her tour in Atlantic City. We last saw her in NYC, this past fall, and we died and went to heaven. Can’t wait for a reprise of that!

Here’s a video, if for some reason you’re not familiar with Her Majesty.

Check back at the end of the week for a full report on Thursday’s show in Atlantic City.