photos by Eric Townsend, words by Andrew Frisicano
Doveman (w/ Norah Jones on vocals)...
Thomas Bartlett was at the center of his Doveman and Friends concert at the Mercury Lounge on Tuesday, January 12nd. On top of the headlining set, Barlett ably accompanied openers The Poison Tree (Steve Salett of King of France) and Sam Amidon on piano (even sitting in for some tasteful drums during Sam's set). Though the night on the whole seemed casual and off-the-cuff, with plenty of stories and asides, Bartlett's piano playing was always on point.
Sam Amidon opened with "How Come That Blood," the superb preview single off his forthcoming record, with its rapid, coordinated fingerpicking and clear traditional-ballad-like melody. He traced his set's progression through a song cycle about a character named "Ryan Seek Rest." When least expected, Amidon let loose a rooster scream that burned through the crowd.
Puss N Boots played an all-covers set that included songs by Johnny Cash, Doc Watson, Wilco (" Jesus, Etc" with Norah Jones singing sublimely) and Wanda Jackson (who herself is coming to town. The drummer-less three-piece made good use of their own vocal trademarks when harmonizing - Catherine Popper's bassy voice, Sasha Dobson's direct tone and Norah's breathier notes.
Doveman started his set with a run of songs off The Conformist, his hooky, atmospheric pop gem that came out late last year. As a dynamic piano player and singer, Bartlett doesn't need much in the way of support, and he didn't get much from his band, who seemed to be tearing into the material for the first time, afraid to make themselves known in any real way. Norah sang back up on a song, and Justin Bond, who has been working with Doveman on a new album, sang one too. So did Dawn Landes (who has a BV-presented record release show coming up at the same club). "Dancing" was the encore lullaby that sent off the crowd.
Coming up, Sam Amidon will be opening for Beth Orton at City Winery next Sunday and Monday . Doveman's upcoming tour dates (including SXSW) are posted below. At the show, he also mentioned that he'd be performing with Elysian Fields at LPR on Friday, January 22nd. Tickets are on sale.
More pictures from Mercury Lounge are below...
Puss n Boots
Doveman - 2010 Tour Dates
Mar 18 & 19 The Kitchen New York City, NY #
Mar 20 Brassland/Secretly Canadian SXSW Show Austin, TX
Mar 26-28 Big Ears Festival Nashville, TN $
# w/ Nico Muhly
$ w/ The 802 Tour