Alela Diane - This is the first of two acts I have previously seen. However, there plenty of changes to make things fresh for me. Ms. Diane was with a full band for her show with Blitzen Trapper, but this time is solo for some songs and with one of her band (bass/ac. guitar) on others. She really has a great voice and can generate a really nice range while keeping the mood of the song centered. Decent guitar playing as well, as she slowly picks through her chords. All in all, a great touch and sensibility with lovely songs make for a strong set that will pull in folk lovers as well as thoughtful rock fans. A pretty good crowd for a Tuesday seemed to agree with me and fully enjoyed the 40 minute set. You could tell by the quiet as much as the applause.
Marissa Nadler - I haven't see Marissa Nadler since a Terrastock Festival set in Rhode Island in 2006. She was solo then and did a couple solo numbers here before bringing up a guitarist/backing vocalist on electric guitar. I believe it was a member of the band Torso, if I heard correctly. What is nice about what seems to be a simple folk show is that the sound of the two artists were quite different yet fully sympathetic. Ms. Nadler's guitar was a bit spacier with a sharp striking sound as she finger picked her way through her songs. It sounded like a dulcimer and coupled with her distant echoey voice, she really did nail a lovely ethereal psychedelic folk sound. Excellent songs, quite simply a great mood that really mesmerized the crowd. All four players hit the stage for a cover of Jackson C. Frank's "Blues Runs the Game". First, Marianne Faithfull played a lesser known Frank song a few weeks ago, and now his more famous song is here tonight. Frank is hot apparently, which is sadly late as he has been dead for ten years now. I saw him just before he died at a Wizz Jones show and he was in really bad shape. He is a fascinating figure and I enjoyed exchanging some notes with Richie Unterberger about him recently. But I ramble. An excellent pairing tonight of great, fresh music.
Quote of the Night: From Marissa Nadler "This song is appropriate as I just broke up with my boyfriend... today... Hurray? Thanks."