Three Women Folkies

Three middle-aged female singer-songwriters brought their low-energy show to the Lobero last night (2/20/15) to the pleasure of the less-than-capacity crowd of nice-looking, middle-aged ex-hippies and relationship types. Eliza Gilkyson had the best voice – pure and with just enough character; Mary Gauthier had spiky hair and attitude, in both her comments and her lyrics; Gretchen Peters was the least interesting but strummed the hardest. Their voices weren’t that different and their songs weren’t, either: all sang songs from their “breakup” albums and what was called an “up” song was merely less sad than the others. What killed any possible excitement, however, aside from their appearances – as Eliza commented, “When I was here last time I was standing up and didn’t have glasses” – was the show’s format: they sat on stage three abreast and sang their songs in order, from right to left, going down the line three times before break and three times after, with commentary about each song’s origin in between. There was no group singing, which would have added interest, although Eliza occasionally sang backup harmony very softly. As each sang, the other two just sat quietly and listened, which made us do the same. It felt more like a songwriting master class than a concert. When Eliza “Seegered” us to sing along on her final number, the crowd responded admirably, with pent-up admiration that was never fully fueled.