Photo by Chris Chin. You can see more of his work at http://www.flickr.com/photos/valjean615/
So before I headed to Orlando to do some Disney action with the nieces, my friend Mark suggested I stop by the Rockwood Music Hall to catch Leah Siegel, and indie musician of whom he’s a big fan. I was definitely in based on his recommendation and I checked the rest of the line-up for that night and noticed that Abbie Gardner (of Red Molly, one of the 2006 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival new artist showcase winners) and Anthony Da Costa (one of this year’s winners) were performing two sets prior. I really enjoyed seeing both of them at Falcon Ridge, both on stage where Anthony definitely, definitely brought it (check out “Poor, Poor Pluto” on his myspace page which was a real crowd pleaser during his three song set) and also during an informal jam session just off the main stage.
Below is their set-list (from when I came in), annotated. Titles of songs I don’t know are probably just lyric excerpts:
1) Two – This cover of the Ryan Adams/Sheryl Crow duet on Easy Tiger was excellent; at least as good, if not better, than the original. Da Costa’s voice is made for Ryan Adams-style melodies. Gardner’s voice, which definitely shines in solo, was incredibly pure and came across very well in the Graham Parsons/Emmylou Harris duet style.
2 ) “I’d Rather Be an Old Fisherman” – [Update: “I’d Rather Be” – Abbie Gardner]
3) “Hallelujah, The Devil’s Won Again” – The hook on this melody was incredible and it was performed beautifully. I don’t know the origin of the song though. [Update: “The Devil’s Won” – Anthony da Costa]
4) Anthony took an extended break to extol the virtues of Elton John’s “Indian Sunset.” Deep stuff he said, not your typical Elton John.
5) “You Don’t Know, You Don’t See”- Also excellent. Also a cover? If not, this and Hallelujah represent some sweet song-writing that really hits the heart of great folk music you can snap your fingers to. [Update: “Red Barn” – Abbie Gardner]
6) “Peter Said to Paul” – [Update: “Girl in the War” – Josh Ritter]
7) “Quit While I’m Still Behind” – ADC on lead. [“Back of My Mind” – Anthony da Costa]
8) “I Once Knew the Heart of a Man” – AG on the lead if I recall; my notes say “soft, tight harmonies” [“Mind of a Soldier” – Abbie Gardner]
9) Play a Train Song – This Todd Snider cover went over very well with the crowd. The production on Todd’s album version isn’t great, though his live version is. This version was excellent was well.
10) My Sweet Carolina – This cover off Ryan Adams’s Heartbreaker didn’t seem to go exactly as planned. It seemed Anthony planned on trading verses while Abbie seemed to think she was just going to accompany a la the original and so she seemed to be caught a little off guard when she took over the second half of the first verse. All I can say is that I’m not sure I’ve ever, ever heard something that pure and beautiful. It was only 15 seconds, but I’ll never forget it. Maybe the first time I heard Laura Cantrell sing “Bees” was close. Maybe. The song was great after that but never hit that moment again.
The AG and ADC set was followed by Beaucoup Blue who were also at Falcon Ridge. They were excellent – a father son duo consisting of Adrian and David with some very nice resonator playing.
I had to catch a plane the next day and only stayed around for a few of Leah Siegel’s set. She definitely had a serious voice and accompanied herself well on the guitar, but I didn’t catch a lot of musical or melodic variation among the songs. I tend to be a little less lyrics-centric than most and that might be where the variation is. I need to listen to her albums because those three songs seemed to indicate she’s capable of some serious music.
[Update: So the wordpress interface interprets 8 ) as a happy face. I’d fix it but I think it’s funny.]