Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kristy Hanson at the Hotel Cafe

About a week ago my wife and I visited the Hotel Cafe to see indie artist Kristy Hanson perform. I have been playing music from her last CD for some time, but had not had the opportunity to see her live yet. The Hotel Cafe is a small room that seats a handful and expects everyone else to stand. Getting there early, we had no problem grabbing a table at the front. I've run into Kristy several time over the last year or so; usually at Sam Phillips concerts. So when she saw me, she came over and we chatted for awhile. What I've always enjoyed about her when chatting is her sweet, almost innocent, small town aura. And it translates wonderfully on the stage. Kristy put on a 45 minute set singing lots of songs from her upcoming release, chatting about her songs and, of course, performing music from her last CD. So often, when you finally hear a singer live, the voice just isn't as good as the record. But Kristy's singing sounded just as good, if not better. I really enjoyed the new songs, which, on first listen, sound even better than the last batch. The highlight of the evening for me though, was a cover of Joni Mitchell's "The Last Time I saw Richard". I've seen seasoned performers like Natalie Merchant not be able to do justice to Joni's music. A powerful and sad song like this is always a risk (especially because you have the potential to bring the house way down), but Kristy pulled it off. Half way through the song I had that stupid grin on my face; the one I get when great music moves me. Thanks Kristy.

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