Katie Smith

O'Flaherty's Irish Pub

June 25, 2004

Katie Smith's emotional vocal delivery made her set successful at O' Flaherty's Irish Pub Friday afternoon. She augmented her beautiful voice by producing a breathless gravel sound when the lyrics called for an expressive kick. It was just her, an acoustic guitar, a Coke, and her notes on stage.

Her guitar was signed by one of the Indigo Girls, but by what I've heard from the group, Smith had more of an edge. The covers she played were almost exclusively sad songs about the pain involved in relationships. Her folk songs were plaintive, regretful and desperate, with a smidge of hope thrown in here and there.

Smith produced an ethnic vocal sneer when she performed Irish and Scottish songs, but she also paid homage to her favorite contemporary musicians. She played alt/country rockers the Cowboy Junkies, Celtic pop/folk group The Pogues, new wave/punk band The Jam, and Dolly Parton's "Jolene."

"Jolene" was a great set closer. Smith poured her heart into the song like it was her own(Lyrics: "Iím begging of you please donít take my man/Please donít take him just because you can"). Jack White of The White Stripes did a similar haunting version of the song at last year's Voodoo Festival.

Smith got applause after each song, but there weren't many people around to hear her set. People would have done well to attend.

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