Last night marked my first time seeing Jenn Grant live, as well as my first trip to Hugh’s room, on Dundas W. in Toronto.
To be brief, I was impressed. Jenn Grant carried herself with a casual grace not often seen in performers, unafraid to banter with the audience and tell stories about the genesis of certain songs while she tuned her guitar (repeatedly.)
Her husband, Daniel Ledwell, came onstage for most of it, adding keyboards, piano and trumpet to the songs and an easy back-and-forth dynamic that kept the show both intimate and interesting. When he stopped a song in the middle of the introduction and began again, commenting that it had sounded all wrong, Grant looked out into the audience and murmured, “Sounded fine to me,” in the mic’d equivalent of a stage-whisper that, along with a dozen other moments just like it, kept the audience entranced.
The songs were great—the material from her new record stood up very well to being reworked with acoustic guitar, voice and whatever instrument Ledwell gravitated to for that moment. Her older material, more low-key anyway, was played with an easy polish.
All in all, a great evening and a great show. But someone should tell Hugh’s Room that a drink called a bourbon sour should probably have at least a little bourbon in it.
But I’ll forgive them, based on the great ambience and sound of the room. I’ll be back to that bar sooner, rather than later.