The Heartbroken @ Dakota Tavern

. : : August 3rd, 2010 : : .

After Kathleen Edwards special “solo” set at the Dakota Tavern, was lucky enough to spend some time chatting with the talented singer-songwriter about her new material, collaborating with John Roderick, and more. No sooner do I bid Kathleen a fond farewell than my friend and companion for the night meets me by the bar and suggests I tape the band warming up on stage. So enraptured by the conversation, I hadn’t even noticed another band had gone on. My new friend Steffan from Turn It Up Or Turn It Off photography caught up to me and suggested the same, pointing out the the improvisational act was The Heartbroken — a band fronted by Damhnait Doyle, who joined Kathleen Edwards for one of her residency gigs at the Drake Hotel in April. I didn’t have time to set up all my gear again, so I used this set as an opportunity to trial run the “professional” microphones built into my Edirol R-09hr.

By this point, all but a couple dozen people have filed out of the Dakota, and everyone remaining has pulled up a seat along the bar or the tables at the back. Opting to follow suit, I grabbed a seat directly opposite from the stage up front, put the Edirol recorder down on the table, and let it do what it was going to do. As Damhnait states before opening the set with a cover of Elvis Presley‘s Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain, alcohol had a lot to do with their reason for unexpectedly storming the stage, so forgive them if the set sounds a bit loose.

The short three-song set ended as abruptly as it started, once Damhnait demands audience member Kim Stockwood (I believe?) to get on stage and join her for a cover of Elvis’ Suspicious Minds. Storming off stage upon Kim’s denial (presumably to drag her on stage), Damhnait gets distracting by the drinking and revelry happening off-stage, abandoning her Heartbroken band members standing around awkwardly on stage for several minutes until guitarist Stuart Cameron improvises another unexpected set.

Stuart’s set came to a likewise abrupt finish (much to the chagrin of Damhnait) when Kathleen Edwards started packing up her gear, putting a cap on a great night full of surprises.

It was interesting to be introduced to a band’s material through such a loose, informal performance, and made me regret missing the band’s own summer residency gig at the Dakota, which had unfortunately wrapped up the week before. I look forward to my next opportunity to catch the band — and hopefully they will make it through more than a quarter-dozen songs at a time.

The Edirol mics turned out to perform pretty well. The sound isn’t quite up to par with the Kathleen Edwards set from earlier in the evening, but that is likely due to poor positioning as much as it is to the change in microphones. There was a big volume adjustment during the introduction speech, and the clapping spikes a bit, but otherwise a fine download of great musicians having a lot of fun performing for and entertaining each other.

01. [introduction]
02. Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain [Elvis Presley]
03. Laid To Waste
04. Good For Thorns
05. [crowd noise]
06. Please Don’t Bury Me [John Pine]
07. Wind Willow [R. Thomas Kelly]
08. [Cape Breton jam]

[info.txt // flac fingerprint ]
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Laid To Waste (Live In Toronto) [MP3 sample]

Thanks to The Heartbroken, Aaron Goldstein, and the staff at Dakota Tavern.

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