Musings about music.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bess Roger & Allie Moss @ The Saint, Asbury Park, NJ 1-8-2010

I didn't know what to expect from The Saint before I got there. I had never heard of the venue before and I was a little nervous about going out alone in Asbury Park. The exterior didn't make me feel much better and the surrounding area I found to be a bit daunting. I wasn't going to miss Bess play though, so I took a deep breath, parked, and headed toward the show.

When I entered I could hear a female voice performing and I was a little upset because I was under the impression I was 30 minutes early. What I got to hear was the last couple of songs by a young woman named Laura Warshauer, previously unknown to me but I was pleasantly surprised. My only complaint is that I didn't get to view her entire performance. This girl has an amazing voice live, I got a chance to talk with her a little bit after the show and you can expect to hear a live performance from her on Electric Eclectic sometime in the near future.

After a brief break 17-year-old Cara Salimando took the stage. She performed a short set but I was impressed by her ability in front of a live audience. To already be so comfortable performing live, I think we can expect great things from Cara in the future!

Next up the lovely and multi-talented Bess Rogers took the stage. It's been awhile since I got to see Bess with a backing band, and was very pleased to find that it was Chris Kuffner and Elliot Jacobson, the same duo that had accompanied JOY at the City Winery the previous weekend. I don't mean to leave out her bassist's name, I just don't know him... Sorry unknown bassist!

Bess opened up with the title track from her 2009 EP Travel Back and followed it up with the carefree ditty I Don't Worry.

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In a dramatic contrast she played a new song that will be on her upcoming LP. I had heard Good Enough when she played it solo at John & Peter's a few weeks ago but with a backing band it was really tremendous and it only solidified that I CAN NOT WAIT for the new album to come out. Elliot's drumming really added to the darkness of the song that I hadn't picked up on previously.

She then welcomed fellow performer Allie Moss to the stage to perform Everything to Lose. Allie's stellar backing vocals really contributed to the song. Bess kept Allie on stage for another new one All In Good Fun in which she channels the late, great Patsy Cline. I'm really excited for the studio version of this song, and Bess is indeed right, "when you lose it hurts."

This was followed up by one more new song Come Home. I just want to reiterate what a treat it is to hear Bess perform with a band backing her. Don't get me wrong, she wonderful by herself but adding extra instruments really adds something and compliments her solo performance so well. Bess finished up her set with Bulldozer and I found myself wishing that she would play just a bit longer.

During the break a broken string was replaced and the stage was set for Allie Moss. I had heard some of her work before but for some reason it hadn't stuck with me. She was backed by Bess Rogers, Chris Kuffner, Elliot Jacobson, and Lauren Zettler on keyboard.

The opening song was Days I Regret, fitting because it instantly made me regret not owning everything this girl is a part of. She's got a really endearing innocence about her voice. She followed it up with her hit Corner which you may have heard on Grey's Anatomy.

Let It Go and Meloncholy Astronotic Man were next up, followed by Passerby. The guitar in it reminded me a lot of Ingrid Michaelson's Corner Of Your Heart, which makes sense since Allie tours with Ingrid. Additionally I Bess and Chris provided really nice backing vocals for the tune and it sounded fantastic live.

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Next Allie had the band take a break on the stage while she performed a solo song I Will Go Anywhere. Her vocals really shined, and I kicked myself again for not buying her EP when it came out last March.

Next up was a new song that I can not wait to hear the studio version of. I'm pretty sure Late Bloomer is one of my favorite current songs, and I wish I could hear it again! The lyrics were eerily relatible and the melody was perfect.

Allie followed up with Dig With Me and Rubber Ducky, yes... It is what you're thinking and it was surprising really awesome.

The last song of the evening was Cling To Me, it was soft and pretty and I found it to be an excellent closer. After tonight, I love Allie Moss and I am really glad I finally got a chance to listen to her work and see her live.

See more photos and videos here. Including Chris Kuffner in the best hat ever!

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