Yesterday's lunch was spent at the Tin Angel here in Philadelphia. WXPN was hosting another of their "Free-At-Noon" concerts and this time instead of me having to go out to them, they brought the concert to me. The Tin Angel is a tiny second-floor club in the Old City section of Philly, about a half mile from my office. It was wicked cold on Friday but the noontime artist, Erin McKeown, was well worth the trouble.
McKeown has a new album, Sing You Sinners, that's full of bluesy, jazzy, swingy songs from the first half of the last century (some standards like "Paper Moon" and some not-so-standards, like the song I took for the title of this post). It's hard to explain her unique interpretation of these songs, but you definitely wouldn't call it polished. She described it as going for something so carefree and reckless that it sounded like it was "thrown down a flight of stairs" (or something like that). It was a cool, confident and loose sound that seemed made for being played in tiny clubs, and McKeown and her bandmates put on a super performance. McKeown's voice is strong, but so is her guitar playing. Her attitude and ability reminded me of Stray Cats-era Brian Setzer, back when he was still cool.
Her enthusiasm and energy made for a real fun show. I'm not sure the full effect comes through away from the club, but there's a good review of McKeown's Friday night show in the Inqy, and the noontime show is available at NPR's website. Also, I've got a dozen photos from the show over at the Ipso.