Review: Kirsten Thien – Solo Live From The Meisenfrei Blues Club

Posted on: Sunday, Sep 22, 2013

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Kirsten Thien – Solo Live From the Meisenfrei Blues Club

(Screen Door Records: SDR0003)

After three studio albums Kirsten has chosen to release a live solo acoustic album; this, is no mean feat, as many an  artist or band mostly only attempt  this kind of concert after a good number of albums, a well rehearsed repertoire and a good deal of self confidence. So firstly, congratulations are in order to Kirsten for having the courage and confidence to embark on such a venture.

The concert took place on the evening of 30th October, 2012 at the Meisenfrei Blues Club in Bremen, Germany. A venue that is more usually associated with a louder and brasher sound, rather than singular vocals and acoustic guitar.

The set consists of fifteen numbers that are a mixture of originals and covers; “Hold on To Me” and “A Woman Knows,” start the proceedings and  are delivered with a powerfully assured, clean, crisp vocal clarity that expresses her convictions and beliefs, her gentle, confident strumming infuses the numbers with a greater dramatic effect than first thought.

The crowd are at first somewhat cautious about the music, responding with the odd burst of handclapping and cheering but, ‘slowly but surely’ they are drawn into and under Kirsten’s evocative spell. The captivating “You Got Me,” loosens the crowd enough for them to happily participate in call and response with Kirsten on her rousing version of Ida Cox’s “Wild Women, Don’t Have the Blues.”

A vibrant and almost carousing version of Bob Dylan’s “It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train Cry,” ensures that the audience are most definitely with her and stay with her throughout the evening.  A stark and plaintive version of Sheryl Crow’s “Leaving Las Vegas,” is a fine example of how much of the blues can be found to exist in a popular song.

The jaunty cautioning Sippie Wallace’s “Women Be Wise,” is without doubt as relevant and valid today as it ever was. By the time Kirsten lustily performs Elvin Bishops “Fooled Around And Fell Love,” and Freddie Kings “I Rather Be Blind,” the joint and her are without doubt rocking. The show is ended with a very interesting and nonetheless captivating amalgamation of “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and “The Thrill is Gone.”

Impressive!

BRIAN HARMAN

www.kirstenthien.com

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