Friday, January 21, 2011

Ya Gotta Love Live Music

Last Friday turned out to be doubly delicious. Not only did the Sharon Little show in Kennett Square turn out to be really good, but I also was generously and thoughtfully given tickets to see Dan Bern next month in Philadelphia. What a great birthday!

Sharon Little apparently used to work at Kooma in West Chester, which is literally two blocks away from my apartment building. I'm not sure if she lives in Chester County or in Philly right now, but I'd recommend catching one of her shows before she becomes a big pop star. She is a little woman with a big voice, sort of in the Ani DiFranco tradition, but perhaps a little less angsty. What most impressed me, even more so than just her pure singing and songwriting talent, was her ability to really throw herself--in her entirety--into every song. This was accentuated by the fact that we saw her in a very small venue, the Kennett Flash. Every song felt like she was reliving the emotional experience that inspired her to write it in the first place. Here she is on TV:

Dan Bern is a singer-songwriter that I've been following since I was in high school. I first saw him open for Ani DiFranco in Albany, NY's Palace Theatre. Since then I've seen him over a dozen times, and at various venues (The Iron Horse in Northampton, MA; Club Passim in Boston, MA; Revolution Hall in Troy, NY; Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ; The Bowery Ballroom in New York, NY). Now I get to see him next month in Philadelphia! His songs are about all sorts of things: God, politics, pop-culture, baseball, tennis, Van Gogh. His voice has somewhat of a Bob Dylan nasally sound, but if that doesn't bother you too much, his melodic words can really make you think, laugh, and feel.

And finally I just bought tickets to see Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings in Wilmington next weekend. She is sort of a "retro" soul singer, with an amazing voice and a great band. I saw her this past summer in Brooklyn at a free, outdoor concert, but the sound quality was very poor. This time I will be seeing her in an opera house, so I'm guessing the acoustics will be a hell of a lot better.

Hooray live music! There were so few opportunities to see great bands and singers during my long 6 years in Binghamton. This has certainly been one of the biggest pluses of moving to the greater Philly area.

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