Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sarah Tracey + The Old Ceremony @ Joe's Pub

It only took one Midwestern songstress to steal the show from five southern boys from North Carolina. Sarah Tracey is not just an opening act. She can easily hold her own, especially at a venue such as Joe’s Pub. Joe’s Pub has a flare of sophistication, a scene perfect for the sultry sounds of Tracey. She graced the stage ever so delicately, her band seamlessly blended in, and the crowd sat in silence mesmerized by her words and her bombshell good looks.

The night was in celebration of Tracey’s new album Cards on the Table. Her voice, rich and refined, is one of class. With the saxophone, drums, and piano in the background, she taunted the audience, “Do I inspire you to desire me so deeply that you’d swim across the sea for me?” It was easy for the crowd to want more. Tracey’s album has a mere six songs. All poignant and bluesy, she sang them with heart and eased the audience into a more upbeat and jovial band The Old Ceremony. The transition of two sounds could not have been smoother.

The Old Ceremony did what they do best: a blend of subtle vocals with an orchestrated twist on folk rock. They are a band made up of non-conventional instruments. In addition to bass and drums, The Old Ceremony is heavy on the violin and organ. The result? Melodic tunes and a sound stronger and more talented than Maroon 5 before they went mainstream.

The Old Ceremony sang a wide range of their music. Spanning the past three years, they introduced the crowd to Our One Mistake, brought it back to Walk on Thin Air, and sang a few from their upcoming Tender Age.

The Old Ceremony’s rendition of Talk Straight was more solemn than the original. Perhaps it was tailored to the New York City location, a downtown crowd who showed up for the early show at 7 PM? Bao Quain is sung in Mandarin. Who knew that the lead singer Django Haskins could flawlessly execute such a feat? And Tender Age was danceable, complete with a few toe taps and maracas. The Old Ceremony showed the range of their capability and pleased the crowd with their southern charm.

The night was a relaxed one at Joe’s Pub. From the bottles of wine on the tables and the dim illumination at the bar to Sarah Tracey and The Old Ceremony, downtown looked and sounded pretty swanky.

Sarah Tracey

The Old Ceremony

Joe's Pub
425 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10003

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