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Crystal Bowersox: New York, NY, March 6, 2013

Ernest Barteldes By

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Crystal Bowersox
Joe's Pub
New York, NY
March 6, 2013

On what turned out to be a sold-out evening ,in spite of a severe storm warning for the northeastern area of the United States, American Idol alum Crystal Bowersox took to the stage, backed by a solid four-piece quartet (guitar, keyboards, bass, drums) showcasing music from her sophomore disc All For This (Shanachie, 2013), her debut Farmer's Daughter (RCA, 2010), and a handful of covers.

Bowersox kicked off with a strong rendition of "Fall Into Place," the lead single from All For This, demonstrating from the start both strong acoustic guitar skills and vocal presence. She followed that with "Home," a more up-tempo folk-rock tune with coming-of-age lyrics. The audience—clearly formed by fans that followed her from herIdol days—was quite supportive, clapping enthusiastically with every song and giving her loud applause. She had great chemistry with her touring band, and they demonstrated clear rapport onstage. All musicians were quite efficient, save for the bassist, who played simpler lines than what was heard on the studio versions of the tunes.

Among the highlights of the set was her take on Willie Nelson's "Crazy," serving as a celebration of her being cast as the lead on Always... Patsy Cline, a Broadway musical based on the late country singer's short life. The arrangement was close to the original recording (minus the steel guitar), and Bowersox gave a powerful delivery. The set then went into more of a country-rock direction, including the honky-tonk flavored "Till The Whiskey's Gone." She closed with the gospel-inflected "Amen For My Friends," which she dedicated to the evening's audience, and returned for an encore that included "Holy Toledo," a hit from her debut album

Bowersox seems to have moved on from her American Idol days. Not once was the show mentioned on the stage (she admitted being thrilled to be in a New York City performance space), and she steered clear from any covers played on the Fox television show, but instead kept with material from her two albums released to date.

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