- Published: Sunday, May 25 2014 10:28
- Written by Deb Hebert
Pass by this sweet and unassuming female on the street, you might think she's just an ordinary young lady. See her on stage with two 12-string guitars, one microphone, harmonica, tambourine wrapped around the left ankle, and stomp box under the right foot, you'd swear she is someone else altogether!
In support of Sandi Thom's Maine debut at One Longfellow Square, May 12, 2014, the platinum selling, multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter is warmly welcomed by area press, with feature spots, interviews and live performances, at Community Radio WERU FM 89.9, Bull Moose Music, 98.9 WCLZ, and WCSH's nightly program, "207". (Click on links to listen/watch.)
"I have always been blessed with knowing who and what I wanted to be from an early age. The day I sat down at the piano and played my first note was the day I decided my purpose in life was to make music for people," Thom writes within the liner notes of Flesh and Blood (2012), her fourth solo album. And such, the 200 seat intimate atmosphere at One Longfellow Square is the optimum setting for the artist to fully connect with new and old fans who are sitting a stones throw away.
In no time, Thom sets the tempo for the 100 minute set, launching into an unrestrained, roadhouse blues, harmonica solo. The crowd 'hoots' and 'whistles', recognizing the intro to "Help Me", the Sonny Boy Williamson blues number she covered on Flesh and Blood. Add tambourine, then guitar, to the melody, and a palpable energy mounts. Soon the wooden floor beneath our feet vibrates as a rhythmic thumping from the stomp box under her foot radiates outward. "Won't you help me baby...Won't you help me darling," Thom sings out, in her signature vocal style: part gritty-growl, part angelic-lullaby. The shows off to a great start.
As I watch this one-woman band, I can't help but marvel at her elegance, her graceful composure. She's in full control of her surroundings: melody, lyrics, instrumentation, and audience. She looks everyone in the eye and lets loose on the sultry, up tempo, R&B number, "Stormy Weather".