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 Joeâ€™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: â€œGo,â€ â€œFor Always,â€ â€œForever Yours,â€ and â€œOverboard,â€ which is a lovely number about having a lover yet not wanting to lose oneâ€™s self in the mix; however, â€œWoodstock,â€ â€œDream,â€ and the closing tune, â€œLove Endeavorâ€ made for a cool unification of moods.
I have to admit, during the break in â€œWoodstockâ€ Aliceâ€™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