The Dog Ate My Concert Review – Rhonda Vincent at Joe’s Pub (1/21/2008), and Red Molly at The Living Room (2/1/2008)

So I have not been very good about posting about the shows I’ve been to lately.  I’ve found that when I don’t keep a set-list with notes, I’m much more likely to put off the posting, and I lose the detail and nuance of the performance that keeps you all coming back.

The two shows I saw were both excellent.  The first was Rhonda Vincent and the Rage at Joe’s Pub (a small cabaret type venue near Astor Place) that I like quite a bit for its intimacy despite its exorbitant food and drink prices.  Rhonda first came to my attention when discussion Dolly Parton’s Grammy winning bluegrass album The Grass is Blue.  Matt mentioned Rhonda had a bluegrass version of Jolene and I checked it out and it is indeed excellent.  Dolly now does a live bluegrass album (see Alive and Well).    The show at Joe’s Pub was very, very good.  The band was tight and they came out like true showmen–energy from the start.  Moreover, they were consistently enjoying themselves out there, especially Hunter Berry, her fiddle player.  This man had fingers that flew!  It all seemed effortless (perhaps because he was on pain killers due to a recent accident).  It was fantastic and enthusiastic and it was just fiddle love all over the place.  Matt has  a more detailed account of Rhonda and the show in the second half of this post here.

With Matt, I also went to see Red Molly at the Living Room this past Friday.  As I might have mentioned before, Red Molly formed at Falcon Ridge back in ought-five, I believe and then played the new artist show-case in ought-six.  I saw them come back as winners, along with Ellis and a performer who’s name I can’t recall (or find through Google).  They do nice tight harmonies, the occasional murder ballad, and the like.  The show was quite good and really picked up after they began with two songs off albums, one a Red Molly song I can’t recall and the title track off Abbie Gardner‘s Honey on My Grave.   There was a bassist standing in and I think starting with the more familiar territory was the right move to get comfortable with the new instrumentation but they really took off afterwards and the show culminated with a beautiful a capella number I can’t recall.  They’re great.  Go out and get their full live album, Never Been to Vegas, and their EP.  I free ride on Matt’s account once again.

I’ll start doing my own homework soon again.  I promise.

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