QRO Magazine

Club Passim

By Donald Lee
Club Passim

Garrison StarrClub Passim in Boston is an intimate affair: in terms of room, it’s not very large, made even more limited with tables and dining that offers vegan fare from the "Veggie Planet" restaurant integrated within this rathskeller.  The audience as a result is generally older than one would expect to see frequenting bars, but with none of the pomp expected from formal performances at Lincoln Center or an opera house.  If anything, it resembles the same atmosphere as VH1′s Storytellers: intimate, interactive, and friendly.  Only this was not a captive studio audience and there was only one guy running around with a camera trying to convince the audience not to pay attention to him.

Adrienne GonzalezWednesday, October 3rd’s trip to Club Passim – under the veil of mist that gives New England the emphasis on ‘England’ – brought three songwriters together to share their music: Adrienne Gonzalez, Garrison Starr, Maia Sharp, accompanied with guitarist Linda Taylor.  They have worked together, and it shows in their clarity of harmony and the tales they spun of musical rapports and quips.  Topics ranged from the origin of songs, to the presidential debate that ran simultaneously with their performance, to laundry, to Starr’s latent cold, Gonzalez’s lack of ethnic dialect, everyone else’s abuse of the ethnic dialect and how its misuse went from Cuban to Charlie Chan…  Light jokes that gave Club Passim a different connotation during those breaks between songs.

The music came from each artist in a sort of story-go-round (song-go-round?) that told of different things, but mostly on the strongest of emotions.  Songs of love, of dependence, of trials, of strength: the basest wellsprings of every songwriters’ foundations told through lyrics about bank robbers, superheroes, Maia Sharpdresses… some pieces ranged into embracing everyman ears with simpler lyrics but all emphasized their strength through honed musical prowess and shared vocal clarity, and a few reimagined songs of their fellow songwriters and The Beatles (mostly centered towards a gender-bending premise). 

Like the songs, the three prompted their own game of musical chairs as each one took to a guitar or a tambourine or a piano effortlessly.  Sharp even did one better by adding a sax to her mix with a few pieces that showed off a jazz/funk influence between the harder rock tinge that mingled with most of the pieces. 

The night felt like it ended too soon, and for some it did: cries of "Encore!" ensued as they left the stage, and what else could they do but oblige?  A few more songs later, the crowd left a few more tunes richer.  One’s only hope is that with the clarity and focus one heard from their collaboration, that this is not the last time you hear these four working together, elections be damned.

Club Passim

About the author

Donald Lee
Latest Concert Reviews
UB40

More Click here for photos from this show in the QRO Concert Photo Gallery My previous encounters with UB40 having been at arenas where,

Read more ...
  • Anna Calvi

    More Click here for photos from this show in the QRO Concert Photo Gallery Click here for photos of Anna Calvi at Empire Music Hall in Belfast,

    Read more ...
  • Grouplove – Live

    More Click here for photos from this show in the QRO Concert Photo Gallery Click here for all of QRO's coverage of Grouplove in QRO's

    Read more ...
Latest Interviews
Ash Moss of Dark Bells

After hearing Dark Bells headline at the Manchester Kraak Gallery, QRO caught up with bass player, Ash Moss, to find out a bit more about the London-based psych-gaze band.  Chatting about musical

Read more ...
  • Those Darlins

    Before playing the Bunk Bar in Portland, OR, Jessi & Nikki Darlin of Those Darlins talked to QRO.  In the conversation, these Darlins talked about their new album, Blur The Line, gender roles

    Read more ...
  • Bear Hands – Q&A

    At the release party/start of tour for their new Distraction (QRO review), Val Lopez and TJ Orscher of Bear Hands sat down with QRO.  In the conversation, the bassist & drummer talked about

    Read more ...
Latest Tracks
  • Woolfy – “City Lights”

    Woolfy, the project led by LA's Simon James, is set to release its debut EP, City Lights, and the title track is a subtropical bonfire jam with an uncommonly airy easiness. If anything else Woolfy

    Read more ...
Popular Articles
Album of the Week
Spotlight On:
Random Articles