July 14, 2017

Concert #805 - Paula Cole at McCabe's Guitar Shop (July 7, 2017)

I must confess that I stopped following Paula Cole's career in the late nineties, so last Friday I went to McCabe's expecting something in the vein of her early hits. Well, I got to hear her early hits, but unexpectedly, I also got my first exposure to Paula's vocal acrobatics that instantly brought to mind Yma Sumac's multi-octave voice. Generally speaking, I'm not a fan of such extreme vocal deliveries, but witnessing her singing in a live setting wasn't the end of the world either. Moreover, the concert had many thoroughly enjoyable moments, so that when the show ended, I was one of those who stood up to give the three musicians on the stage a well-deserved standing ovation.

Paula came out with guitarist Chris Bruce and drummer/percussionist Jay Bellerose, two musicians who were nothing short of fabulous. Their interplay, with or without Paula's piano, produced some of the evening's finest moments. I was particularly impressed with Jay's tasteful style of playing, he is truly one of the best drummers I have ever seen.

Paula Cole at McCabe's
Paula kicked off her set with three covers - I really liked her rendition of "Ode To Billy Joe", delivered pretty much in a traditional way. Her self-penned songs, among which I only knew "Where Have All The Cowboys Gone" and "I Don't Want To Wait", sounded a bit uneven to these ears, but one of them, "Feelin' Love" was an absolute knockout, even at first blush.

The concert ended the way it started, with a few covers, namely Prince's "When Doves Cry" and Dolly Parton's "Jolene". Both sounded great.

Paula Cole at McCabe's
Jay Bellerose at McCabe's
The set list
Chris Bruce, Paula Cole & Jay Bellerose at McCabe's
The stage
The piano
Paula Cole merchandise

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