Last we’d interviewed Balmorhea fountainhead RG Lowe, he’d given us a heads-up on the band he was touring with. And rightly so. But we’ll get to that in a second.
Nellie Fitzgerald (whose FaceBook page can be found here) was the second in O’Brien’s lineup in Boston. She followed a mostly covers section by Dan Barracuda (who was pretty good! Though we didn’t really dig his original, “Something Crazy”). Fitzgerald herself, right here:
… has a voice. A good voice. We liked the bit of funkiness that her band opened with, and greatly appreciated not only her voice, but her stage presence. She’s certainly a performer, yes. What we found lacking were her selection of lyrics (alas, somewhat melodramatic), and her backing band didn’t quite hit the groove of the night.
That was left up to this guy:
Lowe warned us the week before how good his band was. But we were blown away by the ensemble: they be tight. Jeff Olson hit a dense, disco groove on “Cover You,” but on the whole, we’d say the quartet was worth the price of admission.
Which we also have to comment on. Unfortunately, much of the crowd had belonged to Fitzgerald, and filed out before Lowe hit the stage. In fact, the crowd was very sparse, and we thought it a crime. It’s a shame, because they missed Spencer Garland on lead guitar:
Garland was a delight if we had to pick one person out. But we don’t have to, really. (Yes, we did anyway.)
As y’all know, we are fans of Lowe’s Slow Time, and as is sometimes the case with good LPs, they might not make good live shows (we’re thinking Typhoon). But really, on stage is where they shine: O’Brien’s was a nexus of incredible musicianship that Monday. We’d love to see them tour more, but we suspect it might be some time until Lowe catches on. Still, it was our pleasure to enjoy an intimate show, an exceptional show, one that’s going to pass under the radar for some time.
And yes, we have to end with this pretty cool picture. Explanation not really needed.
Check out the tail end of their tour in homebase Austin. Website here.