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the pathetic caverns - music by artist - Shawn Colvin

eclectic reviews and opinions

Shawn Colvin (with Patty Griffin, Freedy Johnston)

7 March, 1997

9:30 Club (Washington, DC)

I've gone on record before about how good i think Patty Griffin's debut recording was and how good she is live. This time 'round I was even more impressed at how strong her singing was. I'd love to be able to say that her music held the sold-out crowd riveted, but sadly, while some near the front were spellbound, there were lots of folks who insisted on talking loudly through even the quietest moments of her set. She played two songs not on her record -- her opening number, which had a more aggressive guitar attack but seemed less melodic than her record, and a song about a favorite bar which suggests that she may be well able to avoid the dread sophomore slump.

I've also written more-or-lessnice things about Freedy Johnston's live performances previously, and he delivered a very competent set, highlighting a number of tunes from his new record, Never Home.

I'd never seen Shawn Colvin before, although I've liked her records for years, and thought her latest, A Few Small Repairs was especially good. This performance, with a 5-person backing band, connected for me only intermittantly. Some of the performances really clicked -- notably an incendiary version of "Tennessee" with some very nice lead guitar work from Stuert Smith. But many of the songs seemed a little too slick in the full-band setting.

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