As someone who really only knew Sandi Thom for ‘I was I was a Punk Rocker’, I was pleasantly surprised by what the night at Whelan’s had instore.
Starting off we had an acoustic performance by local act The PW Sessions. Not bad, I like their use of percussion, mixing it with vocal harmonies.
Next up was Marcus Bonfonti, a guy who plays a mixture of blues and southern rock. Entertaining and funny as well as being a really good guitarist and vocalist. Great to see him acoustically like this but for some reason I could also see him fronting a band like The Black Crowes. I’d go see him again.
First things first ‘Punk Rocker’ is total not what Sandi Thom is about. Her live set kicked off and to my surprise Sandi Thom is country. We’re not talking Daniel O’Donnell country here, were talking the equivalent of Rascall Flatts, new American country. What’s more she’s damn good at it.
Thom and her impressive band of musician’s play songs from her new album ‘Merchants & Thieves’ and was quite simply breathtaking. Why Thom isn’t or hasn’t been mentioned in the same sentence as Miranda Lambert, Terri Clark and Carrie Underwood is beyond me.
The new country swagger of her band is infectious and uplifting. It’s reassuring that she gives ‘Punk Rocker’ the country makeover and plays it about 6 songs in and not leave it until the encore like many counterparts would. Thom is definitely in here element here. The song ‘What If’ has a Ryan Adams feel to it and ‘Castles’ vocal harmonies tip a hat to Shania. Thom even throws ‘I Need Your Love So Bad’, a cover of the Fleetwood Mac classic, in for good measure.
The band are joined on stage by Marcus Bonfonti for a version of ‘This Ol’ World’ which she mentions she sings on record with her boyfriend, Joe Bonamassa (She forgets to mention he’s already a guitar legend).
The hoedown party continued to the end of the set with Thom showing off her harmonica skills, she also plays a mean guitar.
The split with RCA/Sony has obviously not harmed at all. She should be bigger than she is. Ms. Thom get your ass to Nashville.