Carrie Rodriguez, Erin McKeown, Mary Gauthier | 2.14.11

Performing solo with her assortment of acoustic instruments, Rodriguez was room-filling presence.

 
 
Photos: Jeff Myers
 
Old Rock House, St. Louis
 

The evening of this unseasonably warm Valentine’s Day, Old Rock House continued its “Listening Room” concert series. Fans of alt country, bluegrass and folk filled the Soulard venue, and the atmosphere was appropriate for the holiday. Low lights and candles set the mood, and there were plenty of tables for two.
 
Austin-based Carrie Rodriguez was first to take the stage and opened with "Big Love,"followed by another love-themed song. She switched to new material, a song dubbed "Mockingbird" that she’s been working on while on break from touring. Performing solo with her assortment of acoustic instruments, Rodriguez was room-filling presence. She played a short set, promising to return to the stage and play backup for the musicians to follow.
 
Up next was Erin McKeown, whose fast lyrical delivery combined with guitar and electronic piano yielded a solid set of entertaining songs. In support of her followers she honored a fan’s Twitter-sent song request. She brought the audience into the performance with three-octave humming for the song appropriately named “Born to Hum.”
 
Third to take the stage was Mary Gauthier, who brought a more bluegrass or country infused style fueled by violins and acoustic guitars. Her only love-themed offering was a song for anyone who "has fallen in love with a sociopathic narcissist." She closed with a song about the “King of the Hobos.”
 
The crowd was subdued and respectful during a mid-evening break, after which the artists returned together to the stage for the rest of the night. Each of the headliners took turns performing their own songs as the others provided backup instrumentals and vocals. It was clear this trio was accustomed to performing together, although each has a distinct style. Carrie Rodriguez paired up with a member of Mary Gauthier’s band, the duo armed with twin virtuoso fiddles. For the song "Dirty Laundry" all three headliners joined forces to create a full ensemble performance. For the finale Mary led the group in the hilarious song "Drag Queens in Limousines." | Jeff Myers
 

 

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