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Loveless translates her sound well

Great Scott, Boston, November 10, 2016

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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Once upon a time, Lydia Loveless was part of the country, maybe alt.-country movement, but over time the Ohio-based singer has strayed further from those roots.

That was made ever more clear by her rocking - with edge - performance on this evening. That's not to say that there's anything wrong with Loveless' direction - it's just a change - although she hasn't totally abandoned her brand of country either.

On "Real," for example, the title track of her latest disc, the recorded version has a country lilt to it with a bit of a pop sound. Live, it rocked more with a chimey guitar sound dominating.

Yes Loveless might have rocked more, but the fast-paced "Mile High for Mayer' offered more of a roots rock sound as did "European" from "Real," an album that tends to focus on the downside of love.

There was a lot of pedal steel from Jay Gaspar in Loveless' sonics. Traditionally, of course it's associated with country music, but Gaspar, who knew a thing or two about how to play the instrument, adopted more of a dense sound, complimentary to the overall rock sound.

Loveless kept things loose on stage with a few light-hearted comments, including one about President elect Donald Trump at the get go. And she kept it that way at times musically as well. How else to explain a cover of Justin Bieber's "Sorry"? It should be noted, however, that there was nothing funny about her delivery, which hit the mark.

But perhaps Loveless saved the best for last in her 18-song set. She was more unvarnished with a few solo songs - "Really Wanna See You" and "Clumps" before closing out the night with her band back for a let it rip take of "Boy Crazy."

No matter what kind of musical label one might pigeon-hole Loveless these days, it remains muscular and translated well live.