I LOVE Uncle Earl! These G'Earls are stand among the top echelons in the singer / song writer world. Take Kristin Andreassen out of the g'Earls and she blossoms like a beautiful rose opening in the warmth of the sunshine.
I recently had the opportunity to experience Kristin in the intimate setting of the Loring-Greenough House in Jamaica Plain. Jeff Beaudreau of the Notlob Acoustic Music Series sponsored an personal evening with Kristin Andreassen and friends Tristin Clarridge (Crooked Still) and Laura Cortese (Halali). But Kristin didn't stop there; she also brought along Aoife O'Donovan (Crooked Still / Sometymes Why), Tripping Lily band members and a few others. What a show it was!
Every seat in this 40 seat venue Greenough House was filled providing for a very relaxed and personal experience. Two things particularly struck me. The first was the joy that lights up Kristin's face while she is performing. The second was how much fun the performers were having together which made the spectator's experience that much more exciting. It was more like attending a picking party with top performers then going to a concert.
Kristin was a delight in the solo spotlight as her kaleidoscope of talents was allowed to diffract from the confines of the old tyme sound of the Uncle Earl g'Earl's. Her own music is often light and playful, sometime soft and sexy and then crossing over to a jazzy honky tonk attitude. Kristin has a rich way of expressing her ideas with lyrics that paint lasting pictures in your heart and mind.
Kristin lead the group but shared the spot light with her friends. Interspersed with a selection of Kristin's tunes from her solo CD release "Kiss Me Hello" were a few new tunes from her pen and a few composed and performed by Laura Cortese. While Aoife O'Donovan harmonized with Kristin most of the evening, this was clearly Kristin's nite but her performance was richer with Aoife's support.
Laura's talent took me by surprise. Having seen her in a short set performing with Halali a few years ago, my only impression was her expert fiddling ability. But in this most intimate setting, I learned this young woman has a strong and bluesy vocal style that belies her age. I also learned she's an accomplished song writer. Watching Laura's face shine with radiance as she played and sang revealed the passion within her for the music she makes.
Through out the evening's performance, Kristin bantered with stories of living together with Aoife and Laura as well as antidotes about some of her songs. A comic moment arrived when Aoiffe unexpectedly knocked, knocked, knocked on Laura's bass fiddle during "Your Ex-Life Calling" and Kristin broke up in giggles forgetting the words. It was quite funny.
Boston's music scene is rich with the talents of a new generation of singer song writers and acoustic musicians. Kristin assembled a brilliant team to support her for this performance and all of us who where so lucky to attend were given a lasting memory.