Alice Smith @ Joe’s Pub 1/8/10

A few times there are vocalists who come along that defy categorization (read: Res, Maiysha, Stephanie McKay, Honey Larochelle); well, add another singer-songwriter to the list.

Hailing from D.C. and a farm in Georgia, but now a New York-based artist, Alice Smith was welcomed at Joe’s Pub last week. The mood was soft with a necessary roughness around the edge, as it was a sold-out performance and a mixture of mostly new joints, and the old from her debut, For Lovers, Dreamers & Me (BBE). The hour-long set and 10-minute encore seemed to coast, blending the sounds and energy of rock, soul, funk, a band of three, love and dance.

The set list included several unreleased tracks: “Go,” “For Always,” “Forever Yours,” and “Overboard,” which is a lovely number about having a lover yet not wanting to lose one’s self in the mix; however, “Woodstock,” “Dream,” and the closing tune, “Love Endeavor” made for a cool unification of moods.

I have to admit, during the break in “Woodstock” Alice’s voice became hauntingly amazing and ever-more soulful (on a few tracks, actually). I have to believe she pulls this energy from a visceral region that all great soul singers have immediate access to. Wish I had it.

New album (possibly) due Spring 2010

ND McCray

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