Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Rather than sharing an entire live set this week, I thought I'd do something a little different in anticipation of the very special sold-out Kristin Hersh / Tanya Donelly team-up shows this weekend at Cambridge's Brattle Theatre. In case you were unaware, the former co-Throwing Muses (and step-sisters) are doing two shows on Saturday, October 6th, during which they'll each play a set of their own solo stuff, then join together on stage for a collaborative set that's bound to include some TM songs. As a longtime fan of the Muses, their solo work, and various other bands (including Tanya's Belly & Kristin's 50 Foot Wave), it'd be an understatement to say I'm looking forward to this.
Back in late May, at the end of the U.S. tour in support of her latest solo album, "Learn To Sing Like A Star", Kristin played a full-band show at the wonderful Hi-N-Dry studio space in Cambridge for a few dozen lucky fans. Her rhythm section was non other than her comrades from 50 Foot Wave, drummer Rob Ahlers and bass player (and fellow Throwing Muse) Bernard Georges. Opening the night, and also backing Kristin & co. for the full set, were the UK-based husband-and-wife string duo The McCarricks. It was as magical as it promised to be: a night of gorgeously intense, songs in a comfortably unique setting. It ranks high in my best shows of the year, and may end up on the very top.
Easily my favorite part of the night was hearing the latest incarnation of the ever-evolving "Me and My Charms", a song that first appeared in acoustic form on Kristin's debut solo disc, "Hips and Makers", back in 1994. It remains among the best she's written, and has thankfully made its way into many of her solo setlists over the years.
Mp3: Kristin Hersh - "Me and My Charms" (original version)
(from 1994's "Hips and Makers")
Later in 1994, 4AD released Kristin's "Strings" EP, an eight-song disc that included four songs from "Hips and Makers" reworked with string arrangements from the McCarricks, including "Me and My Charms"...
Mp3: Kristin Hersh - "Me and My Charms" (strings version)
(from the 1994 "Strings" EP)
When it was first announced that the McCarricks would be joining Kristin for her tour earlier this year, naturally I hoped we'd get finally hear them backing her up on this particular song, but what I didn't imagine was how much new life the full-band arrangement would bring to it, adding intense rise-and-fall dynamics to an already moving song. I can only say that it blew me away, and here it is...
Mp3: Kristin Hersh & Friends - "Me and My Charms" (live band version)
(live at Hi-N-Dry, Cambridge, MA, May 27th, 2007)
Consider that a tease for what is currently in the works: An officially released full-on DVD of that entire show. Yes, that special night was well-documented, and should eventually find its way into fans' happy hands.
Speaking of happy fans... see you at the Brattle this weekend?
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
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