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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Review -- K.T. Tunstall

I'm not a music writer, but sometimes I'll catch an act that's so good I'd feel guilty not writing about it. Or him. Or her.

The her in this case is K.T. Tunstall, whose performance at Headliners Music Hall in Louisville, Ky., was all I needed to pledge my allegiance to lifelong fandom. Thanks to our fine city's public radio station, WFPK -- 91.9 FM, Louisvillians have become quite familiar with Tunstall recently, playing a couple of songs from her current CD "Eye To The Telescope" during my morning radio hour when I'm tardily getting ready for work.

I happened also to catch a short in-studio session on WFPK Saturday afternoon, several hours before she took the stage, in which she played a couple songs and in between them talked about her rise from playing small-time joints twice a week to a full-on tour.

I'd have to say I preferred the live versions better than the album -- OK, downloaded -- turns of "Silent Sea" and "Other Side Of The World." I was in the condition you should be in when witnessing smart music before your very eyes just before it breaks through to the big time, so don't ask for specifics on those songs; I just enjoyed them a lot.

One song, and feel free to help me out here, includes the lyrics "...even when you're miles away," which caused a minor moment of sadness for me personally because over the weekend was when the young girlfriend and I had our first serious conversations about what will happen with our relationship when she leaves for grad school. Stay tuned.

But I got over that and remembered that you're supposed to enjoy a live concert, and Tunstall mixed the right slow tunes and faster ones with perfect prudence. "Another Place To Fall," my favorite track from Telescope, had a surprising rock-out factor that turned my sardine-like positioning (it was so crowded that one arm ended with hand in pocket, the other kept a cup chest high) into an awful dance that prompted Jennifer to observe, "You dance with your head. That's funny." It was just too dang crowded for me to move around the way only I know how to operate.

Late in the evening, I saw a co-worker, an older-than-me, gray-bearded photographer who's pleasant and quiet but very funny at work and always reports to me on Fridays that he's got no weekend plans or on Mondays that he just worked around the house and did nothing else. His secret is out. He's a party guy, and he looked as buzzed as I was. Well done, Bruce!

So there you have it. Go see K.T. Tunstall in Cleveland Monday or Chicago Tuesday, before she heads for home; her UK tour begins the following week. At least pick up the album. It's well worth it.


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