Olsen, an itinerant troubadour who regularly
graces Australian folk festivals, was at her most engaging. Such was the candour
of her songs and chatty tales that it would impossible for anyone with blood in
their veins not to empathise with her. Her full-throated voice and crisp guitar
served up such diverse subject matter as crop-dusting and prostitution, while a
revealing yarn about life-drawing classes introduced The Truth of a Woman. From
her new CD came In Your Darkened Room, the title track to an album containing
some of her finest work, a black frost edging her usual warmth and humour. John
Shand, Sydney Morning Herald
It is indeed a rare
occurrence to be so completely captivated for an entire concert by one person
and a guitar, but American singer/songwriter Kristina Olsen certainly managed
this and more, delivering a highly entertaining show to a capacity audience for
over two hours.
From her opening songs I felt that this was a person I had known
for much longer, the supreme accolade any storyteller can wish for. The audience
of predominantly fortysongethings loved it, demanding that Olsen return to the
stage for three encores.
Olsen's singing is as powerful as it is delicate, forceful as it is tender, and she asks a lot of herself, instrumentally, voically and emotionally. Patrick Shepherd. Christchurch Press, NZ
To begin with the songs, they are those wonderful gems of
song writing which don’t rely on any particular genre for their beginnings.
Olsen builds melodies, not styles. She can wind them into unpredictable
combinations which then become lovely melodies or she can deliver them in
straight lines which become jazz- or blues-oriented pieces. Her guitar stylings
are wide, ranging from delicate, complicated runs to aggressive direct blues
runs. She’s a sharp guitarist, able to provide herself with both the rhythm and
lead pieces she needs to give her songs solid solo support. As a storyteller,
Olsen is similarly wonderful, mixing earthy observations about herself and those
around with the occasional comment about society’s various shortcomings. Most of
all, though, Olsen is funny, noting those things which innocently point out
where she and all of us provide material for comic relief. She’s talented,
funny, and observant, and consequently she becomes the witty friend who shares
her life with you, not preaching to you or insisting on our praise to maintain
the friendship. Roots & Reel
Olsen is an eclectic artist worthy of much more acclaim. Los Angeles Times
Strong songs and guitar playing, great singing and
intimate stories...after hearing it I’m in love with the lady.
This is Olsen playing solo to the world, and the results are
stunning...playing slide guitar with a fury, finely crafted songs, personal and
delivered with fire...
wicked blues slide guitar...soon her storytelling becomes
so wonderful, and her music so expressive, one realized that the untamed Olsen
is more valuable than any slicker version could be. Boston Herald
"A joy to watch and hear"
"Kristina once seen and heard is not easily forgotten.
Her skills in writing and performance along with the charm of her musical
personality have always ensured this - miss them and miss out"
Simon Nicol, Fairport Convention
"A magnificent singer who talks about rude things!!"
"Kristina changed my life"
Jackie Hanham, workshop participant
"Kristina Olsen not only reduces grown men to quivering wrecks with her
songs, she also knits socks between sets... That's talent for you"
Kristina Olsen - The Creme de la creme
Kristina is the business,
if you don't know her work or have'nt seen her show's, we strongly suggest
you make it your mission this year to seek her out
Say hello, you won't regret it.
Chris While and Julie Matthews Recommendations and don't miss 'em list
...and then there was the life force that is Olsen.
The American opened the show with a solo set of wit, wisdom and stinging slide guitar.
A raconteur who could still any bar or charm crowned heads, she set the tone for sad or saucy songs about love from a woman's perspective.
Accompanying Coughlan she added deft flecks of guitar, growling alto saxophone, accordion, voice or just sat out as the song required. Again, no pretence.
Mary Coughlan/Kristina Olsen Concert Review
Sydney Morning Herald, Arts & Entertainment
"This is no kind of formula entertainment.
after hearing it I'm in love with the lady"
Acoustic Musician Magazine
She always signs her letters, "Love, Kristina"
Maybe because she can't spell "Sincerely Yours"
She likes four letter words
They get the point across
They hardly ever have double letters
Kristina Olsen's record "Love, Kristina" is one of my favorites.
She has the above-referenced acapella half-apology for her spelling,
as well as a song for battered women called "Keeping This Life Of Mine"
and a lighthearted ditty called "Little Brother Sure Can Dance".
And many more delightful songs, all wrapped up in her strong, slightly
Moreover, when I emailed her a couple of years ago, she actually emailed
So she's nice, to boot!
Kristina Olsen is the very picture of the modern folksinger: She's a
hard-touring, nonstop songwriter who doesn't seem to care about - or
even think of - mainstream success.
She's also full of thoughtful, thought-provoking songs, which she skillfully
plays on guitar, saxophone, concertina and piano.
Olsen's latest album is 'All Over Down Under'.
The Onion 10-16 April 2003
AUSTRALIAN CELLO MEETS AMERICAN SLIDE
US audiences get a chance to experience an unusual musical pairing when
American singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Kristina Olsen will
tour with Australian cellist Peter Grayling.
They are stopping over in the states in Sept/Oct 1998 as part of their
round the world tour to celebrate the release of their CD 'Duet'.
Kristina Olsen is a powerfully engaging performer with a blues raw velvet
voice, brilliant guitar skills (on acoustic and steel-body slide guitar)
and a fine way of crafting a song, from hilarious tales of love-gone-wrong
to seriously compelling songs of rare insight and compassion.
She is well know for her songwriting and her songs have been recorded
by Fairport Convention among others.
Cellist Peter Grayling takes an instrument rarely seen off the classical
stage and weaves it through Olsen's songs, enriching the ballads with
a gorgeous, mellow sound and driving along the bluesy numbers with punchy
playing and recklessly passionate solos.
Dr. Grayling was formerly the principal cellist with the Tasmania Symphony
Orchestra and now currently does contract work for the Western Australian
Symphony when he isn't on tour with Olsen.
The depth, diversity and excitement of Kristina and Peter's live performances
are captured in fifteen studio tracks on their new CD 'Duet', which
also offers two bonus live tracks recorded on their last Australian
These two multi-instrumentalists create inspired musical settings, recorded
live in the studio with the emphasis on the real interplay of a musical
partnership honed on stage.
All the songs/pieces are in duet form.
On 'Heart Hill', a song Olsen wrote about the actual heart-shaped English
wood which a grieving fiancee planted on the hill where her lover's
plane had crashed, Kristina plays concertina and sings while Peter plays
mandocello and sings harmony.
On the blues classic 'Brownsville' Kristina moans out the melody on
slide guitar and voice, while Peter adds a third harmony part on the
All the tracks are in song form except 'Pillow Talk', an instrumental
waltz with Kristina on saxophone and Peter on cello.
Their work together has left a trail of excitement in Australia, and
now the US will get its first chance to catch them as a duo, live in
Kristina has toured the UK as a solo artist since the early '90s and
established a large following of devoted fans in the folk music world.
She won great acclaim with appearances at Cropredy and Sidmouth in 1997
where her skills as a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist were
shown off to their full potential.
During one of her many tours of Australia and New Zealand, Kristina
met Peter Grayling a cellist and botanist.
They have formed what has been described as "a musical marriage made
The bluesy raw velvet voice of Kristina; her great guitar work on acoustic
and steel body slide guitar set alongside the beautiful tones of the
cello played by the classically trained Peter took audiences by storm
on their short UK tour in 1998.
They have recorded two albums together.
The first, the aptly named "Duet" was a best seller at festivals in
Last year they appeared at Towersey and Bridgenorth festivals and again
outsold most other artists with their new album "Truth of a Woman".
Fairport Convention are big fans and have recorded Kristina's song "Dangerous".
WHAT THE PRESS SAY
It would be impossible for anyone with blood in their veins not to empathise with her… full-
throated voice and crisp guitar. John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia
Olsen rocked the audience with her traditional blues style laced with modern lyrics. “She’s
original and she’s modern. She was the best performer here,” said one of the vendors who
had been listening to the blues for two days. Kendra Milligan, Sun News, New Mexico USA
Olsen’s singing is as powerful as it is delicate, forceful as it is tender, and she asks a lot of
herself, instrumentally, vocally, and emotionally. The audience loved it, demanding that Olsen
return to the stage for three encores. Patrick Shepherd, The Press, Christchurch, NZ
Grayling is that rare beast among cellists - the really exciting soloist
who can improvise and really seize the moment.
Most importantly the performances are really alive, and many of the
songs are really moving.
They move in varied ways, too: from full-on blues-mama lustiness to
thought provoking and poignant.
Doug Spencer ABC Radio 24 Hours
...written by Olsen in an engaging style that brings to mind the biting
realism of Richard Thompson, combined the lyrical feel of Joni Mitchell
and Carol King.
Olsen's expressive voice and brilliant skills on the guitar.. is easily
matched by classically trained Grayling's mellow and occasionally reckless
cello and mandocello accompaniment... make 'Duet' an album of startling
contrasts an exciting performances.
Ray Purvis for the CD review column in 'The West Australian'.
This CD received four stars
Run don't walk to your nearest record store and get some of this music
now, I did.
David Sanderson 'The Hastings News & Observer'
'LIVE FROM AROUND THE WORLD'
She tells stories of trekking through Alaska on snowmobiles to gigs
or of dancing with a drunk, and then sings everything from sweet, passionate
piano ballads to rollicking folk-rock or growling, raucous blues.
For Kristina Olsen, the message is personal and delivered with fire.
On this live album, recorded at locales all over the world and mixed
beautifully, considering the many shows represented, fans will be pleased
that she holds nothing back.
In gigs from Scotland to Australia to New Zealand and even the United
States, the California singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist wends
through covers of Robert Johnson songs, playing slide guitar with a
She adds her own songs of love and longing, and intersperses them with
short story-vignettes that serve to set up the songs and create an initimate
atmosphere missing from many live albums today.
In short, you get to know a little something about Kristina Olsen witty,
And, you get to hear a great sampling of her music finely crafted songs
from her previous albums and five new tracks.
She is joined occasionally by a few musicians, most notably guitarists
Nina Gerber and Al Petteway.
But mostly this is Olsen playing solo to the world, and the results
It's one of the best live albums I've heard in some time.
Like Rory Block with more attitude, Olsen growls her own vocal variety
into Robert Johnson's "Come On Into My Kitchen", fed by her
solitary slide guitar.
While Olsen also includes Johnson's "Walking Blues", it's
her own songs that shine here.
Her blues style, like that of many great blues singers, is rife with
"Live Man in the Dead of Night", punctuated by flurries of
guitar riffs, is Olsen at her sultry best, singing "nothing is
easy, well this I know, but I'll make it till dawn if you rock me slow".
"The Kind of Modd I'm In", inspired somewhat by a stopped-up
drain and her attempts to unclog it, is synocpated folk-blues with attitude.
There are few ways to easily describe "Better Than TV", her
so-called 'anthem' for the anti-television movement (she was raised
without the tube) except to say that Olsen offers a comical wake-up
call as she compares the lack of an electronic life with the joys of
The personal nature of her songs is apparent in "The Power of Loving
You", inspired by her heterosexual realizations about the life
experiences of gay friends.
The songs expresses her admiration for gay people.
And her witty side shines in the a cappella of "Love, Kristina",
a humourous tribute to her affinity for four-letter words and disdain
'ALL OVER DOWN UNDER'
Genuine Humor and Art, Live (01/08/03)
After cutting a couple of early career, self-released tapes with her
Loose String Band, Kristina Olsen recorded a quartet of albums for Rounder/Philo
from the early through the late nineties.
Her most recent pair of studio releases, on her Take A Break label,
featured Australian cellist Peter Grayling.
Grayling also appears on this disc along with, fellow countryman and
skilled piano accordionist, George Butrumlis.
The album title hints at the contents, and was recorded in concert during
March 2001 when Olsen undertook an Australian tour.
The twist with the material of this particular collection is that Olsen
has included ten new compositions.
She's also been magnanimous to her sidemen, in that the album includes
one composition by each of them.
Both instrumentals, 'Raphael & Hillary' by Grayling was written
for an ABC Radio book reading programme, while Butrumlis airs the traditional
sounding 'Portsoaken'. It seems that they learned the latter tune in
the car park,immediately prior to performing it in the show.
Three of Olsen's older songs 'Truth Of A Woman', 'The Man With The Bright
Red Car' and 'Better Than TV' are reprised at the end of this disc,
aka 'the Second Set' - During the interval the audience had been invited
to write song requests on pieces of paper, and for the second set Kristina
drew titles from a hat.
The three players create a wonderfully rich sound and between them contribute
the sounds of acoustic guitar, steel body slide guitar, sax, concertina,
cello [at turns sonorously moody, then rhythmically upbeat], mandolin
and accordion [Butrumlis playing adds tremendous colour to the melodies].
Kristina has had the good sense to incorporate nine segments of stage
patter, and while her songs introductions come across as factually enlightening,
the remainder are spontaneously humorous [and even bear repeated listening]
- The liner includes an instruction on which tracks to programme, if
you want to hear a music-only CD.
Apart from being a soulfully articulate musician, Olsen is a compulsive
dancer - I've seen her enthusiastically join the sidestage throng at
the Kerrville Folk Festival - and her love of tango dancing is given
full and enthusiastic expression in 'How I Love This Tango'.
Elsewhere, the opening 'Fallen Bicycle' recalls an old love affair,
while 'Tony's Sax' is Olsen's instrumental contribution.
'The Weekend is Here' gives the female viewpoint relative to the escape
from the drudgery of a 9 to 5 day job, and is a darned fine toe tapping
and fun song to boot where the latter cut explores the total fulfilment
of boy/girl passion, 'The One That Didn't Get Away' and 'Sweet William'
hail from the same source.
This disc is available from www.amazon.com and the entry on their site
states, 'Explicit Lyrics' Now if Kristina were some spandex clad heavy
metal goddess or a pin impregnated punk princess, I could accept the
possibility of aural offence.
As it stands Olsen & Co. merely mention prostitutes, brothels, lesbians,
turbo-charged vibrators, pubic hair, useful things to do with panty
liners and such.
Counter to the language that is uttered on many stages, world-wide,
these days, there's genuine humour here and no four letter words were
employed during the recording.
OK, the closing cut 'Better Than TV' is a tale of sexual congress -
a natural human expression of love they say.
As for - 'Explicit' - I don't think so !!!
Arthur Wood (contributing editor) FolkWax
AND ABOUT LIVE CONCERTS:
The Sydney Morning Herald has this to say about Olsen's recent
perfomance at the Blue Mountains Festival in Australia in March 04 and
her new release 'In Your Darkened Room':
'Olsen, an itinerant troubadour who regularly graces Australian folk
festivals, was at her most engaging. Such was the candour of her songs
and chatty tales that it would impossible for anyone with blood in their
veins not to empathise with her. Her full-throated voice and crisp guitar
served up such diverse subject matter as crop-dusting and prostitution,
while a revealing yarn about life-drawing classes introduced 'The Truth
of a Woman'. From her new CD came 'In Your Darkened Room', the title
track to an album containing some of her finest work, a black frost
edging her usual warmth and humour.'
A great night was had by all at the Winery, West End, Brisbane last
An enthusiastic monday night audience loved the show and brought Kristina
back for three encores. George Butrumlis was in particularly fine form,
playing a Piassola piece as part of the requests set. Peter Grayling
was requested to play a cello piece naked, but declined due to 'technical
Olsen's powerful, supple voice and sweetly mournful steel guitar combined
perfectly with the dark undertow of the cello... Throughout the evening
this duo continued to spark off each other musically and verbally.
Olsen keeping everyone helpless with her frank self deprecation and
This is a sharp lady, definitely not the norm.
Wise to and in love with the cultural differences in Australia, delighting
in the perfect musical partner, and in being back in Freo.
Ken Ferguson for the West Australian
It's a perfect coupling - one no publicity hound could ever think up.
A sassy sex obsessed San Franciscan born singer songwriter and a silent
cellist from Fremantle.
Olsen's songs evoke all sorts of feelings - Thursday night's audience
laughed out loud, choked back the tears and cheered the honest sentiment
of songs such as "Wish You'd Stop Doing So Well" ...meanwhile Grayling's
cello and mandocello made inroads into bodies and hearts while his shy
demeanour emitted a different kind of star appeal.
Les Everett for the Fremantle Review
Olsen Captivates Audience
Kristina Olsen, Harbour Light, Lyttelton
Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd
It is indeed a rare occurrence to be so completely captivated for an
entire concert by one person and a guitar, but American singer/songwriter
Kristina Olsen certainly managed this and more, delivering a highly
entertaining show to a capacity audience for over two hours.
Her secret is a simple one.
She tells it like it is with a humour and directness that draw laughs
of recognition in hilarious songs such as 'The Man I Love,' 'The Weekend
is Here', 'The Big O', and the gloriously raunchy 'Better Than TV.'
Then the tables are turned and the emotional roller-coaster tackles
abusive marriages (I'm Keeping this Life of Mine), lost love (Heart
Hill), and the drudge of life (State of Grace).
'The Man with the Bright Red Car' swapped emotional extremes very neatly,
Olsen holding the audience in the palm of her hand, and the achingly
beautiful ballad 'The One That Didn't Get Away' made for the deep thought
'The Tango' was a neat piece of historical comment, while her spot-on
anthem to the green-eyed monster, 'Stop Doing So Well,' proved bitingly
close to the mark for many!
The instrumental changes (to concertina and steel guitar) worked well,
the concertina particularly evocative in 'Heart Hill' and 'Yellow Piper.'
Olsen's singing is as powerful as it is delicate, forceful as it is
tender, and she asks a lot of herself on stage, instrumentally, vocally,
From her opening songs I felt that this was a person I had known for
much longer, the supreme accolade any storyteller can wish for.
The audience of predominantly fortysongethings loved it, demanding that
Olsen return to the stage for three encores.
Kristina Olsen & Band
Spiegeltent - 12-3-02
If her lyrics are a true reflection of her life,
Kristina Olsen has had one hell of an interesting journey.
From a dream in which she was a lesbian to dancing the tango and what
really happens at "life drawing classes", all got a humourous
workover in the Californian Singer/Songwriters one-off Show. Add to
that unusual mix a sprinkling of spine-tingling instrumentals with Australian
Cellist Peter Grayling, and a show-stopper encore of 'The Big O' - a
ditty about orgasms not Roy Orbison - and her appreciative audience
were left singing along for, ahem, more.
Jo Schulz - The Advertiser
Acoustic blues wrap up final day of festival
By Kendra Milligan
The final day of the Mimbres Region Arts Council's Blues Festival on
Sunday brought home the roots of blues as artists unplugged from their
amps and went totally acoustic.
Kristina Olsen was the largest draw for listeners. The park's crowd
swelled before she opened her set. "In the past they (the Mimbres
Region Arts Council) usually book a few women artists to play the blues
festival. This year they only had Kristina Olsen, so we came to hear
her," said one female listener and her friend.
Olsen rocked the audience with her traditional blues style laced with
modern lyrics which played off society's fascination with consumerism.
Based out of Los Angeles, Olsen is all too familiar with the "Californication"
presented in television and radio today.
"She's original and she's modern. She was the best performer here,"
said one of the vendors who had been listening to the blues for two
7 April 2002 Devonport Folk Music Club, Auckland, NZ
While still flying high from the Keb Mo concert the night before we
felt like seeing Kristina tonight would be like a bonus.
I had forgotten how her performances can be so powerfully moving.
By the end of the first set my face hurt from smiling
and my eyes were red from crying.
Next time I will remember to being the Kleenex.
Her clever and hard driving guitar arrangements reinforce the emotional
punch of her lyrics.
Mr. MO didn't make me cry.
Canterbury Family Festival of Music, Waipara, Easter 2002
Kristina Olsen is one of the most entertaining and compelling
performers on the international acoustic music circuit.
Kristina delivered on the promise of her promotional material in her
concert at Burns Hall on April 15.
An appreciative audience of about 50 heard her performance, disappointingly
few for a performer of her calibre.
Her songs are sometimes moving, sometimes earthy (at any rate, I have
been told that 'The Big O' had nothing to do with Otago!).
What the blurb doesnt prepare you for is the intricacy of her
Her style moves from gutsy blues through jazz to something almost classical,
and back again, as the mood of her songs takes her.
Kristina has touch; her rich blend of voice and instrument is always
just right for the lyric.
Kristina Olsen and Peter Grayling
Tilleys, 9 November.
Reviewed by Helen Saunders
Kristina Olsen tells stories.
The singer/songwriter from the United States spends ten months of the
year touring the world and telling stories of love and loss, as all
good singer/songwriters do.
What sets her apart from a number of other artists of the troubadour
persuasion is her ability to make her audience laugh.
An excellent guitarist, and no slouch on the sax or concertina, which
also made guest appearances in her sets, Olsen and her co-conspirator,
cellist Peter Grayling, did much to undermine the idea that a singer/songwriter
must be earnest and intense.
Not that there was a lack of intensity in songs such as Dangerous or
Heart on the Hill, where raw emotion was matched by articulate, poetic
lyrics and a musically satisfying backing.
But these songs, and others like them, were interspersed with Olsens
self-deprecating humour, allowing the audience respite.
And then there were songs such as Better than TV and The Big O, which
had the audience howling with laughter. It is obvious that Olsen has
visited Canberra many times before, with the audience at Tilleys
seemingly made up of aficionados who knew the material well. The affection
was mutual, with Olsen making it clear that despite the bushfires that
turned a simple trip from Katoomba to Canberra into a seven-hour epic,
there was no chance that she would cancel a gig at Tilleys.
While I had heard of Olsen, I had never attended one of her gigs before.
I was impressed with both her musicality, both in writing and performing,
and her skill as a raconteur. But the cello playing of Australian Peter
Grayling, with whom Olsen has recorded two CDs, was a revelation.
Not only does he have the chops as evidenced in an impromptu
recital of the Prelude from Bachs Cello Suite in C but
his dry sense of humour was a perfect foil for the more exuberant Olsen.
And who knew the cello could sound as low-down dirty as it did on I
Don't Want to be Your Friend?
All in all, it was a rewarding evening for the contemporary-folk minded.
Entertaining, intelligent, varied, and above all funny, Olsens
show was a fine indicator of what is required for a performer to succeed
in living the musical life.
Helen Saunders is a graduate in musicology from the Canberra School
of Music and a freelance writer.
Towersey Festival 1999
Oh, there was some good stuff at Towersey, with loads of Anglo-Australian
Kristina Olsen from the USA was playing with the Aussie cello player
Peter Grayling - who is one of the very few artists I have seen get
a spontaneous burst of applause for a solo at a folk event, and that
happened three times in one concert.
Kristina said she played together with Peter whenever she could.
Lets hope this happens a lot more in the future.
No one in the huddle knew quite what to do.
Stay under a tarp on a ridge of high ground? Or run for more substantial
shelter, exposing oneself en route to the full force of the elements.
Every ten seconds or so, someone would make the decision to cut and
"They went slipping and sliding down the hill, because it was so
wet," said Brian.
"Then someone said, 'If this is to be your last night on Earth,
is there anywhere you'd rather be?"
Songwriter Kristina Olsen started singing "Rock Island Line."
Everyone joined in, singing faster and faster as the wind howled and
rain pounded on the plastic canopy.
When the storm passed, they were still there.
"Nobody got hurt," says Brian, "except for those that
slid down the hill."
NORTHUMBRIAN MUSIC NIGHTS
What we said about
KRISTINA OLSEN & PETER GRAYLING
Kristina Olsen & Peter Grayling are
Dangerous at the King's Head
It's never a good idea to break up with a singer-songwriter -
you just might recognise yourself dangerously immortalised in a song!
The California blues singer Kristina Olsen's third appearance with Peter
Grayling, cellist from Australia,
last friday at the King's Head in Allendale brought out an enthusiastic,
standing-room only crowd
who were enthralled with the hauntingly realised humanity encapsulated
in her songs.
It was an emotional roller-coaster of an evening, as Kristina skates
on a fine line between bawdy commentary on life and revealingly emotive
interludes that twist the listener's soul into knots.
But with the counterpoint of Peter's cello playing a Greek chorus as
the intimate revealer of innermost feelings, the combined effect was
like being buffeted by a soft, tender, all-embracing storm.
'Draw a line' might have been the song the audience came to hear, and
Kristina poised it three numbers into the first set, to capture her
Come the musicians, come the evocation, and 'Phoebe's Iceberg' was such
an echo of softly keening reminiscence and loss of a tiny girl.
Or how about the firm and stout-hearted welly behind the 'Flying' song
(Yellow Piper) where the long-suffering wife saves to gain her pilot's
license? Or the multi-keyed 'Sweet William', as intriguing a piece of
traditionally informed contemporary music as was ever written.
You're up, you're down, maybe 'It's the kind of mood I'm in' that draws
the next piece into touch and brings the audience together with the
The cello sings, listen to the feeling, and sigh in recognition.
David Dodson may have written 'The Big O', but only one performer could
do it justice, and Kristina's perfectly raw blues voice came on strong
to close the set, while what Peter did on the cello can't really be
described in a family newspaper.
Ten songs into the second set, and it was rapture, with snappy transitions
from clever asides into exquisite lyrics and impressionistic instrumentals,
even before the final number, a paean to a real world without television.
Anyone for tango? I'm certain Kristina made several converts to this
expressive dance form, just by delivering a instrumental with Peter
that brought the dance to disembodied life.
Then the encores started to pour out, in a heartfelt tribute of appreciation
from the entertainers to the promoters, agents and audience for having
launched the duo on their increasingly successful UK career.
'If I left you' moved on to the bitter humour of 'Don't do so well',
and then 'Heart on the Hill', before the Tom Waits number, 'Broken bicycle'
wrapped up the evening and left the audience finally satiated, carrying
the music home with them by the CD boxload.
It seems entirely likely, on this form, that a larger venue will be
needed for this duo's next appearance in Tynedale.