"Your Hands Bring Me Sweet Lavender"
(photo by Dan and Happy)
If the traditional "She'll be coming around the mountain when she comes" were a rugged theatrical drama in the vein of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, Alela Diane's canyon folk would be an obvious choice for the soundtrack. The Nevada City native and friends (and family) took Music Hall by storm on Saturday night, making the Brookyln venue feel more like an early evening at a Summer folk festival in a lush California valley than a club on the edge of an industrial waterfront. Alela's wondrous voice was in full command of the audience, and the band, as she delivered To Be Still gems like "Every Path" and "The Alder Tree's", as well as a fitting cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Gold Dust Women", with an effortless ease that can only come from singing your entire life. While her band channeled the spirit of the Canyon, lending Alela's songs the rhythms of a steam-powered freight train, it would have been nice to have heard some material from The Pirate's Gospel, or simply a solo tune. That said, I am still in awe of her and her voice, and you can be too courtesy of the (in)famous NYC Taper, who captured her nearly identical show from the previous night at the Bowery Ballroom.
Download Alela Diane's 2/27/09 performance from the Bowery Ballroom. (NYC Taper)