Michelle Malone

The Mermaid Lounge

October 12, 2004

Let's hope that more and more hard rockin' woman bands like Sleater-Kinney and The Donnas are accepted as viable commercial entities. Where have all the edgy women musicians gone? Remember Heart and Joan Jett and Elastica and Veruca Salt? Dangerous women with guitars have come and gone off the scene, but the folkies are a constant. Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams, The Indigo Girls. They play enjoyable folk and country music, but do they really rock? No. Atlanta singer/songwriter Michelle Malone rocked Tuesday night at The Mermaid Lounge. After seeing her performance, I think she should be up there with all those other well-known names.

Malone didn't look threatening at first. She stood with an acoustic guitar and was joined by a drummer who played with fag sticks. But, the guitar had electric and fuzz capabilities. Add to that her slide and harmonica capabilites and she was a force to be reckoned with. I was surprised an acoustic guitar duo could rock so hard. Malone's energy and her roadhouse/"a train's comin' through" shuffle provided the bottom end. Malone played one slow song maybe, but I just remember rocking out to the delicious airtight beats of her drummer and her amazing melodies and slide-guitar antics. She played catchy songs that are best described as Americana--a little blues, a little folk, a little country. Her songs and lyrics got right to the point. No filler. I was particlarly impressed with her slide speed/prowess. Proper harmonica playing is always appreciated, as well. I guess she's just really talented.

Malone attacked the microphone with rancor and a life-sympathetic sweetness. She had a beautiful voice. I'd regret it if I didn't mention the drummer's talent. Any drummer should augment their own playing style to fit the style of the song, but she was right on it. She rolled when she should have rolled, laid off when she should have laid off. And man, it was a wonderful moment when she let loose on her crash cymbal for the first time during a rocking guitar riff. The music's heat rose exponentionally because she did.

Malone thanked the crowd for coming. An audience member said she regretted more people weren't there to greet her(only about fifteen), but Malone responded and said she was happy just to be there. Apparently, she used Mapquest to get here. I know how hard it was to find The Mermaid Lounge my first time, and I live here. Mapquest isn't foolproof.

Anyway--great show, good night.

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