Amy Ray’s strong baritone is as rock bottom steady as ever, though she has a tendency to push from the throat at times leading to a dulling of her sound. Emily Saliers? Not sure if it is due to touring, age, or overuse, but all the pretty has been worn away. The break in her voice, which in the past served her well, has widened. Her vibrato, at times, is uncontrolled, and her throat sounds a tad damaged.
Material-wise, they covered all the bases, saving their two biggest hits, ‘Galileo’ and ‘Closer to Fine’ for the end. The music that preceded those ran the gamut between rootsy country-flavored folk and introspective, singer/songwriter pop.
However, they all had one thing in common: compositionally, they all contain interesting detours, musically taking the listener by surprise. This is a hallmark, for better or worse, of the duo’s songwriting. It all made for an interesting ride, painting a rich portrait of these two musical mavericks.
The evening ended on a strange note: a cover of The Charlie Daniel’s Band staple, ‘A Devil Went Down To Georgia’, which given the duo’s roots and the talent of their backing band (particularly their fiddle player) made sense, I guess.
It was an odd choice, but in a way, it was a fitting ending for an evening filled with music that took the audience, as familiar as they were with the material, to unexpected places.