Thursday night I went to see Audrey Ryan at the Alchemist in Jamaica Plain. She was playing a double-header with Gretel.
As some of you may know I went to see Ms. Ryan at the Dolphin Striker in Portsmouth back in February. The bar was packed, the crowd was nettlesome, and still she was enchanting.
After the show I bought her CD, exchanged a few pleasantries, and that was that. However since then her album Dishes & Pills has been an integral part of my playlist.
So I was excited to see her again at the Alchemist. The best thing about her music is that she sounds so utterly like no one else I've ever heard. Granted I don't know diddley-doo-doo about the technical nuances of music, I do know that music (to me) is either sounds I like, or sounds I do not.
What I heard Thursday were sounds that thrummed joyfully across my cerebral cortex.
Ms. Ryan's set was short and unfortunately played against the backdrop of the Celtics game - which meant there were bursts of applause at odd moments. Short though it may have been, sweet it definitely was.
After her set was Gretel, who I'd never heard before. Gretel seems to be a four person band, but for some reason they had five people this time. They were great too. And even better was that even though there was less than 50 people in the place, they rocked like they were playing to 500. In a good, full, way - not in the ear piercing annoying way.
I got home I checked Gretel out online and I have to say I think preferred them live. But I am not sure about that yet.
If you get a chance to see either, I highly recommend you do so. The best part was that the show was free. We ate there and the food was excellent, but there was no cover or anything which is great.
Quite possibly one of the best things in life is good live music for free!
PS: The food and the staff were really really nice at the Alchemist. Although that place will always be Triple D's to me, where the brother of a friend got so drunk he crapped in a planter outside thinking he was in the bathroom. Now THAT is drunk.