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For Kirke, going country may be a good thing

Great Scott Boston, Boston, September 25, 2019

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Lola Kirke may be best known for her acting ("Mozart in the Jungle" on Amazon, "Gone Girl"), but lately she's dipped her toes into music, specifically country.

While some could be accused having "gone country," not a welcome one for sure - Kirke, who just released a five-song country EP. That was clear from songs like the ballad "Not Used" where Kirke's voice came through with a sense of sadness on the heartbreak song.

That was not always the case as her voice was way over amped on the first few songs ("Simons Says" and "Monster") before settling down in her first headlining gig in Boston.

Kirke offered a few worthy covers. That included Commander Cody's "Seeds and Stems," a ballad, which proved to be a nice change of musical pace mid-way through her to-the-point 45-minute set.

Kirke stretched out on the Dead's "Sugaree." The song retained an easy going vibe with taut guitar from sideman Elijah Ford. Wisely, Kirke did not try to imitate Jerry Garcia and instead presented her own reading of the chestnut.

The night ended with her take on the more upbeat and bolder sounding "Cocaine" with Kirke blowing harp.

Ford, an Austin-based axe man, was a key element throughout the night with lots of good licks and guitar runs. He seemed to have just the right touch time and again. Fiddle player and backing singer Odetta Hartman, who also opened for Kirke, also was contributed mightily with invigorated singing and playing, especially on "Shoulda Cheated" from the EP.

Kirke may have "gone country," but in her case, that may be a good thing.