Erin McKeown: Lafayette

Signature Sounds
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  September 12, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
Recorded earlier this year at the tiny New York cabaret Joe’s Pub (whose location on Lafayette Street gives the disc its title), Lafayette is the first live album from Erin McKeown. Her distinctive take on American folk music flowers most fully on stage; her refreshing penchant for physical comedy, which is part of her huge appeal as a performer, doesn’t survive the translation to CD. Still, last year she released one of her best discs yet, Sing You Sinners, on which she tackled various Great American Songbook selections with the scrappy spirit of a street-corner troubadour, and you can hear the residual effect of that project throughout Lafayette, where even the most contemplative material has an immediacy many singer-songwriter types sacrifice in the name of gravity. (Give some of the credit to her crack back-up band, who move effortlessly between head-nodding hip-hop grooves and hopped-up big-band shuffles.) As always with a live album, Lafayette doesn’t beat being there. But it’s certainly better than it needs to be.

Erin McKeown at Boston Folk Festival | UMass-Boston, 100 Morrissey Boulevard | September 16 | 617.287.6911

Related: Erin McKeown | Hundreds of Lions, Indie springs forward, Erin McKeown, More more >
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