Canadian singer-songwriter and cult artist Mary Margaret O'Hara played a very rare show at Issue Project Room on Saturday (12/1), her first NYC performance in a decade. (She doesn't play many shows in general.) The beautiful, intimate affair concentrated on songs from Mary's sole proper full-length studio album, 1988's Miss America, but included some others as well, like a rendition of "Blue Christmas" from her 1996 Christmas EP, her 2014 single "This is What I Want," and "Pennies from Heaven." Mary's voice has lost none of its power over the years, and it shone alongside the evening's special guests, which included cellist Peggy Lee, guitarist Aidan Closs, and Dirty Three drummer Jim White (who played with Yo La Tengo the next night). Mary was also joined by a couple of family members: her brother Marcus O’Hara, performing on balloons, and her sister Maureen, who sang with her on "This is What I Want."

Joan as Police Woman was spotted in the audience of the sold out show, and attendees applauded Mary out for a second encore after the house lights came up. Check out pictures from the very special evening in the gallery above and, if you've never heard it, stream Miss America below.


photos by P Squared

More From Brooklyn Vegan