It’s a fine performance as Merritt mixes selections from both albums (six from Tambourine; four from her debut) backed by her terrific four-piece band, tightened through constant touring. Her voice is clear and strong, the sound is full and clean. It’s an appropriately classy show for classy roots music that encompasses country, folk, and even gospel, especially in the religious fervor of choruses from “Shadow in the Way” and “Tambourine,” the latter with Merritt shaking the titular percussion instrument like she’s leading a Baptist service. The only sticking point is that Merritt’s stage movements, especially early on, are overly exaggerated. It looks like she is trying way too hard to work the stage and the audience, resulting in a forced and somewhat phony presence. Merritt’s songs and band are sturdy enough not to need these kinds of shenanigans to make an impression. Thankfully, when she slows down for the ballads “Still Pretending” and “Supposed to Make You Happy,” she keeps the hair-throwing to a minimum and concentrates on the performance. But that is a minor shortcoming with music this impressive played with passion and obvious joy, both from the frontwoman and her group.
mp3 160 kbps | 76 MB | UL