Kathleen Edwards @ Drake Underground

      . : : April 20th, 2010 : : .

[EDITED FOR CONTENT: July 23rd, 2010]

In the first night of a once-weekly residency series of shows at the Drake Hotel (Underground), Kathleen Edwards debuted some brand new songs for the loving Toronto crowd, paced through some old favourites and finished off with a welcome cover. The sound was absolutely phenomenal, allowing the band’s performance to shine brightly through. The intimate Drake Underground encourages a strange, respectful silence among the rapt crowd, reserving their loud enthusiasm for between-song applause and the curtain call.

And the crowd had a reason to be enthusiastic on this night. Kathleen brought a new band and a batch of new songs, but her same old inimitable self. Good news! All of the above were great!

I was initially disappointed not to see Kathleen sharing the stage with local legend Colin Cripps, but Gord Tough filled his large, clown-like shoes admirably. The rhythm section was also superbly on point, and was perhaps one of the tightest sets I’ve seen performed in some time. The new songs sounded as fleshed-out as nearly decade-old favourites, and show a powerful strength and confidence that hint at phenomenal follow-up record to 2008’s acclaimed Asking For Flowers LP.

Not only was it a great performance, and not only was it a test drive for some great new material, but it was also a test drive for my brand new EDIROL R-09HR SD WAV/MP3 recorder. What does this mean for me? Money saved on batteries, easier stealth and on-the-fly adjustments and quicker turnaround time from recording-to-editing. What does this mean for you? More recent recordings, higher quality sound and fidelity, and significantly increased likelihood for a flawless tape. Although this blog will likely stay dedicated to 16-bit recordings at 44.1kHz, all recordings on the Edirol will be recorded as 24-bit WAVs at 48Khz and be available for download upon request. [NOTE: This prediction only held true for a matter of weeks. I began recording @ 24bit/96Khz less than two months later, and am unlikely to ever return.]

It’s unfortunate that this recording is sometimes marred by my coughing — I caught an awful cold that threatened to keep me at home, but my iron resolve not to miss a local Kathleen Edwards show again won out. I was in tears at several points in my struggles to keep back my harsh hacking, but managed to mostly cough in between songs and during the applause, which does a good job of drowning it out. Unfortunately, one time I coughed was just as Kathleen was starting the first words to Mercury, so the beginning of that track is slightly marred.

Otherwise, the show sounds brilliant. I think I ended up EQing this three separate times in an attempt to find the best balance, and I’m finally happy enough with the results in spite of a light hiss. I’m glad that, after some months of waiting, I can now finally share these marvelous performances with some of my fellow rabid Kathleen Edwards fans, and am excited to hear what everyone thinks.

  1. I Make The Dough, You Get The Glory
  2. Empty Threat
  3. In State
  4. Asking For Flowers
  5. [banter]
  6. Chameleon
  7. Run
  8. Mercury
  9. 6 O’Clock News
  10. The Cheapest Key
  11. Mint
  12. Change
  13. [banter]
  14. Hockey Skates
  15. Back To Me
  16. [encore]
  17. [banter]
  18. Soft Place To Land
  19. Houses on the Hill [Whiskeytown]

[info.txt // flac fingerprint ]
[ Request FLAC or MP3 Download ]

Mercury (Live In Toronto) [MP3 sample]

Thanks to Kathleen Edwards, Jim Bryson et al and the spectacular Drake Underground.

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