Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 4 Reviews
Saturday, Oct. 2, 1:05 p.m.
Reviewed by Mike Alexis
Tasmania native Audrey Auld now calls Bolinas, a small coastal town north of San Francisco, home. Her strong, observational songwriting was evident during her early afternoon set, with a few songs framed around her current surroundings and some based way back on what she calls, "that little island at the bottom of Australia."
With Kevin Russell from Sebastopol accompanying Auld on acoustic guitar, the duo breezed through a handful of confessional ballads and more rollicking ditties in the country-pop vein of fellow Aussie Kasey Chambers (whose father, Bill Chambers, has been Auld's frequent collaborator). As the cold wind whipped through the P.A. so hard the audience could hear it, Auld and Russell whipped up the first song, Fred Eaglesmith's "Alcohol and Pills," a reverent tribute to country greats like Hank Williams and the dark side of fame. A couple of songs later came the clever and heartfelt "I'd Leave Me Too," which she admits took only ten minutes to write. It goes to show that when inspiration strikes it should not be ignored. Next she sang a sensitive lament titled, "There's a Hole in My Life Where My Lover Used to Be," a song inspired by an AIDS awareness banner Auld saw in San Francisco.
Auld's voice possesses the perfect mixture of defiance and sorrow and she was able to carry the weight of the pleasantly simple melodies and Russell's tasteful and understated leads. As the wind subsided just a little and the sun peeked through the clouds just a little, Audrey Auld warmed the crowd with her endearing music.
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