Here are some holiday goodies, courtesy of Amy Allison and Laura Cantrell.
If you hate wrapping paper, just click the play buttons, otherwise read on.
Amy had Lee Feldman as accompany on piano, and his playing is perfect complement to her songs. Amy sounded great, relaxed, and was her usual funny self. She sang mostly off of her latest, "Sheffield Streets" - an album that Elvis Costello and Dave Alvin guest on.
I knew Cantrell as DJ of the estimable Radio Thrift Shop, and truth be told, I'd always thought of her that way first, even after she had embarked on her singing career. I've seen her play a few times, and this was the gig for me where I now think of her as a DJ second. Always easy in front of people, her voice has gotten really strong, and the band she's assembled, including Dave Schramm (Yo La Tengo, the Schramms), and Jeremy Chatzky (Springsteen's Guthrie Sessions) is fantastic. She had a great fiddle player too, whose name (I'm ashamed to say), I didn't write down.
Amy and Laura didn't sing together, but Cantrell played several songs they co-wrote - "Nothing Came Easy But The Tears", stood out. Ever generous, she gave Amy as well as other artists and her band, a ton of props.
After the gig, I got to meet Lee (a cool Brooklyn dude), and talked with Laura. She was very nice, and didn't treat me as too crazy when I told her I was feeling prescient because she used the word mishigas that evening, and I'd previously blogged about her use of that word (you hear someone with a Tennessee accent say something in Yiddish, you remember it).
OK, writing concert reviews is something I need to work on. That's why my friend John Everhart gets all the free gig tickets and I don't, so l'll cut to the chase. Amy and Laura have both graciously given me the OK to post songs of theirs.
Play them, download them if you'd like, and be sure to check out their websites.
Amy's song "Anywhere You Are", is from Sheffield Streets, and I think it's the most beautiful thing she's ever written, and that's saying something. Buddy Holly would have been happy to write it.
Laura's is a sweet cover of NY songwriter Emily Spray's "14th Street", from the album Humming By the Flowered Vine.
Thank you both!