Concert Reviews

Over the weekend: Jen Korte & the Loss at the Walnut Room

Jen Korte & the Loss
The Walnut Room
Friday, September 18, 2009

Jen Korte and the Loss recorded most of the tracks on her new self-titled album live in the studio and there's an immediacy and cohesion on those tracks that can usually only be captured with everyone playing at the same time instead of laying down individual tracks. While this show celebrated the release of the record, she might have one-upped the intensity of those recorded tracks.

With some stellar musicians in tow, including singer Jessica DeNicola, bassist Jim Ruberto, drummer Dan Luehring and trumpeter Matt Gilliam, who together make up the Loss, Korte ran through her self-titled debut in the order the tracks appear on the CD. Korte kicked off the set by digging into some of her Texan roots with the spaghetti western-tinged alt country of "It's a Little Hard, Dear." Korte and DeNicola started the slow waltz of "Street Lights And Bar Fights" with some vocal wonderful harmonizing. Gilliam laid out some gorgeous flugelhorn lines on the "Street Lights," but really stretched out on "Fleeting."

"If I...," one of the highlights on the new album, was also one of the high points of show. While Korte and DeNicola harmonized divinely once again, Luehring kept the tune lilting with a slow jazz waltz feel before intensifying the beat and then laid out right before Korte started strumming her guitar by herself. Then all of the sudden the tune just kicked into an Arcade Fire type of explosion with Luehring beating heavy on the drums and Korte, DeNicola and Gilliam singing and playing a line unison. While that rocking part of the song is great on the album, it truly kicked ass live.

For "5am (Refrain)" Korte brought her neighbor Gyp Da Hyp from the hip-hop group Paradox to scratch on the cut, which he also does on the album. On the album, Gyp actually recorded Korte and DeNicola and programmed it on his computer so he could scratch their vocals on his turntables. As Korte has said, it's the kind of tune you'll want to bump to on your way to the club on Friday.

Mindy Goswiller, who also plays on the album, added some great violin work to "Shoreline" and Achille Lauro's Luke Mossman played keyboards on "Berlin Wall" and "Selfish." One of the most intense tunes of the night was "Pull the Plug" with Korte and DeNicola truly belting out the vocals and Luehring laying down the some powerful Elvin Jones-like drumming near the end.


Personal Bias:
While Korte's self-titled debut is stellar, she might have one-upped it with this show.
Random Detail: Korte's parents and brother stood right next to the front of the stage.
By the Way: Achille Lauro delivered an outstanding set as well.

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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon