Sunday, February 24, 2019

Millie McGuire at The Federal Bar, 2-24-19 Concert Review

"There's Not A Cloud In The Sky"
Sunday has become my favorite day of the week, for the day often means drinking mimosas and enjoying some excellent music at The Federal Bar. The Mimosa Music Series continued today with Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey of The dB’s playing a phenomenal acoustic set. Starting the show was Millie McGuire, a talented young vocalist. Her set focused on material from her new album, Yours, Millie McGuire, an album that was produced by Chris Stamey. And Chris accompanied her on guitar. She also was backed by Willie Aron on piano and Ellie Athayde on bass, as well as Kaitlin Wolfberg on violin for many of the songs.

At 11:31 a.m., Millie McGuire and her band took the stage. Concert series host Gary Calamar welcomed the crowd, “Good morning… North Hollywood,” then joked, “I forgot where we were for a moment.” Millie then said, “Thanks for having me this early morning.” And, yes, 11:30 is early morning, particularly for today’s crowd, most of whom had been at the Wild Honey Orchestra’s Kinks tribute last night, including Millie herself. Millie McGuire opened her set with “There’s Not A Cloud In The Sky,” a jazzy tune featuring a wonderful vocal performance. Kaitlin Wolfberg was on violin for this one. Chris Stamey then mentioned that while the songs we were hearing might sound familiar, like standards, they were brand new. And indeed, most of the songs of Millie’s set were written by Chris, including that one and the following selection, “I Fall In Love So Easily.”

I’m going to slow it down,” Millie told the audience, and she began “Your Last Forever After,” a pretty song with some wonderful lyrics. “I am your last forever after/I am your first glimpse of the moon/I am the memory you’ve forgotten.” After that song, Millie said, “Okay, this next one’s more of a groove, half by me, half by Chris.” Chris responded, “The groovy part’s yours.” And they played “One More Moment.” In introducing “Here’s How We Start Again,” Millie mentioned that she’s going to school in Nashville, and is going to turn things toward country for a bit. “Here’s How We Start Again” was one of the highlights of the set for me.  Check out these lyrics: “Here’s how we start again/You tell me lie/I say I’ll believe in you/Until the day I die/Though I know I can’t win/I can at least pretend/Here’s how we start again.” Kaitlin Wolfberg returned on violin for this one, and for the next few songs as well. And the next song, “There’s A Place,” written by Millie McGuire, was another of my favorites. “This place in my mind, I call it home.”

“I Am Yours” is a pretty, slower tune, and was yet another highlight of the set. Then Nelson Bragg joined Millie on vocals for “Two,” a song written by Dan Wilson. For this song, there was also a drum machine on a cell phone. Millie then concluded her set with a cover of Lake Street Dive’s “What I’m Doing Here,” playing piano on this one and turning in perhaps the set’s most powerful vocal performance. Her set ended at 12:10 p.m.

Set List
  1. There’s Not A Cloud In The Sky
  2. I Fall In Love So Easily
  3. Your Last Forever After
  4. One More Moment
  5. Here’s How We Start Again
  6. There’s A Place
  7. I Am Yours
  8. Two
  9. What I’m Doing Here 
Here are a few photos from her set:

"I Fall In Love So Easily"
"Here's How We Start Again"
"I Am Yours"
"What I'm Doing Here"

The Federal Bar is located at 5303 Lankershim Blvd., in North Hollywood, California.

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