Musings about music.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jenny Owen Young & Emily Wells City Winery, NYC Jan 2, 2010

I couldn't have been more thrilled when I got an e-mail from one of my favorite venues, letting me know that one of my favorite artists would be performing there. Getting a chance to see Jenny Owen Youngs at the City Winery in NYC was amazing. If you’ve never been to the venue check out their page and find yourself a good show because the atmosphere and the quality of sound are both top notch. The food and drinks are on the pricey side but everything I’ve had there has been delicious.

I arrived just as Jenny was getting on stage, later then I had expected so I wasn’t able to secure a table. This particular evening Jenny was accompanied by two of my favorite NYC musicians, the multi-talented Chris Kuffner and, drummer extraordinaire Elliot Jacobson. After a moment of instrument tuning because Jenny cares about us, they launched into If I Didn’t Know. I always feel like Jenny is at her best when her backing band is comprised of her friends and tonight was no exception.

The second song of the evening was Led To The Sea, followed up by my personal favorite Drinking Song. One of the best things about seeing JOY live, is that every time she performs she manages to make each song just a little different then the last time I heard it. It keeps the songs I love from ever getting boring while holding onto the aspects that I adore about them and to me it’s what shows that’s she truly a musician and not just a singer/songwriter.

Next in the set was Secrets. I adore that song and tonight was no exception. I wish I could get my hands on a recording of Jenny performing this song with Jim Ward the way they did during the revival tour of 2009, if you missed it you should be regretful, it was pretty amazing. I tried to snap some photos but my lame camera batteries died, luckily there were real photographers there and the amazing Deborah Lopez has been kind enough to allow me the use of one of her photos.
You can view more of her work at her Myspace page. She's taken some of my favorite photos of my favorite musicians.

Things slowed down a bit during No More Words but right after the trio rocked an amazing live version of Clean Break that was out of this world.

There was only one choice to follow up such awesomeness, fan favorite Fuck Was I. Numerous people in the audience were singing along and everyone was having a great time.

I didn't think the set could get any better until Last Person came on. It was really cool because a number of people there to support Jenny were also musicians that had appeared in the music video for the song and you could hear them singing along.

She followed that up with Voice On Tape, as the music started the recorded message from Regina played in my head. Transmitter Failure was next and finished up with the closing track from her latest album Start + Stop.

This was my favorite Jenny show thus far, and I have seen her many times in the last year, in several different aspects so that's kind of saying a lot.

After a brief break Emily Wells took the stage, I had heard some of her music on her Myspace page and it was all enjoyable but I wasn't sure what to expect live. She started out with a pretty slow acapella Patty LaBelle cover and afterwards announced that her drummer and guitarist wouldn't be playing. I got a little concerned that the whole thing would just be Emily up there singing by herself. I had no idea how blown away I was about to be.

Emily's stage performance was like nothing I have ever seen. She began playing a violin, then in front of our eyes looped a recording of it and picked up another instrument. She literally built a symphony in front of our eyes and when the music was ready she began to sing.

I am not familiar enough with her music to name every track that she played, she did a fantastic cover of Notorius B.I.G.'s Juicy that blew my mind a little. For the remainder of Emily's performance she continued to amaze me and she's become an artist that I am now seeking out performances of. If you've never seen her live, it well worth the trip.

Both performers were kind enough to hang out after the show and mingle with fans. I also got a chance to see Bess and Chris again, which is always nice. I got to meet Allison Weiss for the first time and she was adorable and charming, and I got a chance to talk to Dan Romer, which was extra cool for me since I find him to be a musical genius. If you missed it you should feel bad, because it was really fantastic.

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