Showing posts from April, 2006

Melody Gardot & Lizanne Knott - World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, 4/27/06

It would be hard to imagine an experience more cathartic than enjoying a beautiful spring day by taking a half hour walk across town to hear two local singer-songwriters perform a lunchtime concert at the World Cafe Live to promote their upcoming May 6th show at the same venue. Melody Gardot most likely attracted some new listeners performing on WXPN's Philly Local Live concert broadcast last October. The bio on her website describes recording her cd Some Lessons , from her hospital bed while recovering from an automobile accident. Her musical career, considering the physical limitations of the disability she was left with, is truly inspirational. Performing today on acoustic guitar with a drummer playing snare with brushes, Melody laid down a really nice jazzy groove on her guitar while doing songs from her cd, as well as some new songs that she is in the process of recording now. It was great to see her looking and sounding so well. Lizanne Knott performed an enjoyable set of

Greg Brown - World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, 4/22/06

Nobody can take an empty stage armed with nothing more than a slightly beat up guitar and a microphone and totally transfix an audience quite like Greg Brown , which is exactly what he did tonight at the World Cafe Live . The downstairs venue was packed, and unlike most recent shows there, the crowd was reverent and respectful, no talking during the performance and no shouting out except when requested. Another thing that no one does quite like Greg Brown is to meld folk, country, jazz and blues into a style that is uniquely his own, centered on acoustic blues. No matter whether he's singing his own compositions or covering songs by others, they all become Greg Brown songs when he sings 'em. Greg's open minded approach to live recordings has allowed his fans to really develop a high appreciation for what he does in live performance; he allows live recordings provided that they not be sold or posted on the internet. The result is that excellent concert recordings of Greg are

The Weepies - World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, 4/20/06

The Weepies played a very tuneful and listenable set tonight at the World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. They seemed surprised at the size of the sellout crowd in the upstairs venue and continually expressed their appreciation to the audience for coming to see them. The Weepies backstory may be equal parts happenstance and destiny but it is storybook all the way. Deb Talan and Steve Tannen were each already taken with each other's music when they met at Club Passim in Cambridge, Mass. where Steve was appearing in support of his first cd. They began writing together that very night and the rest as they say, is history. Check out the Weepies website and their MySpace page for the complete story as well as a generous number of complete tunes from all their albums which stream on the website for a free listen. After recording a total of five solo cds between them, they joined forces as the Weepies, indpendently releasing their first cd Happiness in 2004. A recent sold out performance

Sia - World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, 4/15/06

Zero 7 seems to collect talented vocalists like some musicians collect instruments. They were up to four alternating lead singers on When It Falls (2004), and music lovers everyhere are in their debt for giving Tina Dico, Sia, Sophie Barker, and Mozez worldwide exposure for their remarkable vocal talents. It was obvious from her solo records as well as her two Zero 7 projects that Sia Furler is an amazing singer with great musical taste, but the depth and quality of the live set that she and her excellent band performed tonight at the World Cafe Live was surprising even still. The band consisted of keyboard, bass, drums, guitar and cello, the cello adding a really nice flavor to the sound. The mix was wide open leaving plenty of room for Sia's awesome vocals, and yet every instrument could be heard perfectly in a venue that has the best ever sound and lighting. This performance was truly as good as it gets. The songs were mostly from Sia's latest solo release, Colour the Sma

Lelia Broussard - Milkboy Coffee, Ardmore PA, 4/01/06

Having heard Lelia Broussard's first cd Louisiana Soul (2004) and having sampled some of her newest cd Lil-Yah (2005) on her website, it is obvious that she is a major talent, but nothing quite prepared me for the incredible vocal ability and musical taste that she demonstrated at Milkboy Coffee Saturday night. Many comparisons come to mind; she can sing soulfully like Joss Stone but seems less calculated about it, she can sound jazzy like Patti Andress, her pop and blues bring Bonnie Raitt to mind but Lelia seems somehow even more versatile than all of those. Like Norah Jones, Lelia is able effortlessly blend the many musical influences into a style of her own. She seems to have a great handle on mixing these varying musical styles into her original compositions and as such, the artist that she most brings to mind is Valerie Carter who also combines soul, jazz, pop, and folk with a distinctly southern sensibility and whose second album Wild Child (1978) is a pop/soul gem that