Courtney Marie Andrews is frankly at the top of her game right now. No two ways about it her show tonight was one of the best I've seen with the warmest and most enthusiastic reception from her growing audience.
Last time I saw Courtney Marie Andrews she was touring solo and previewing the songs from her new album 'May Your Kindness Remain'. Between January and now with the addition of her band those songs have grown and the blues country soul vibe has distilled into that much sought after but rare thing that I can only describe a cosmic American music - ok I've stolen that - but I think it is apt in describing the combination of her songs, their arrangements and the sound the band cooks up. There were moments tonight where I was thinking of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and the Band. This was especially evident during the evenings closing number a cover of Little Feat's 'Willin'.
The whole set was beautifully paced starting with last two tracks from the new album 'Long Road Back to You' and 'I've Hurt Worse' both of which pulled the crowd in and showed that these songs may be new but have more than connected with her audience. People were singing along and clearly love these songs and the ones that followed.
To say that Courtney Marie Andrews has hit her stride would be an understatement of monumental standards. She's been touring constantly both solo and with her band, writing all the time and she keeps coming up with the goods. This is her time but you can't help feeling that the best is astonishingly still to come.
She has songs which are audience favourites like 'Near You' and 'Sea Town' which have not appeared on albums but remain mainstays of the live show. Sea Town in particular has featured in every CMA gig I've been at. That's five in total and the performance of the song has moved from a plaintive lament into a rocking celebration of returning.
We were treated to eighteen songs tonight in Summerhall's 'Dissection Room' showcasing the best of the new album and its predecessor 'Honest Life'. Her songs clearly touch a common core across the ages that was evident tonight with a very mixed age range. Live she always engages with the audience with humour and charm between the songs and then that voice soars. More, Courtney Marie, more!
Note: in the heat tonight an audience member fainted, thankfully recovering. Courtney Marie stopped the show immediately and took a respectful break.