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Hey ‘Shell, You Know It’s Kind of Funny…

Erin McKeown and Michelle Shocked at Club Passim
Erin McKeown and Michelle Shocked at Club Passim

I recently caught Michelle Shocked playing at Club Passim in Cambridge. As I stated earlier in this space, I go a long way back with Michelle and have followed her faithfully through her many phases — folk, jazzy swing, country, rock. But her gospel phase is tougher to take, and it’s not because of the music. It’s the constant proseletizing and asking the audience to join in on every chorus like she’s a preacher. I wanted to shout, “We’re paying YOU to sing, not us!” But the music was great; her band was top-notch with longtime cohort Rich Armstrong on trumpet, bass, harmonica, etc., keyboard player Reggie Royal, who has a very nice voice, and (I’m saving the best for last) Erin McKeown on guitar.

And though Erin seemed like a fish out of water as far as the religious aspect of the night, her guitar playing was great. It was clear she was new to the music, trying to find her spots to shine. But you have to give her credit for putting herself out there in a new situation.

A review in the Boston Globe really sums up the show the best, so click HERE to read it. For pics from the show, click HERE

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