Friday, January 27, 2012

Sarah Goodin - Honey Moon - January 27, 2012

Sarah Goodin - Honey Moon

January 27, 2012

Sarah Goodin has a voice that will break your heart. It is a voice that opens songs up like a lost jewelry box full of forgotten memories. It is a voice that curls right up in your ear like some favorite childhood animal and suddenly gains access to all of your heartstrings. She is standing there under the soft light at the Honey Moon unassuming and humble in all her words of introduction and thanks. And then, it is as if someone poured honey from the most beautiful and saddest bees in the world directly into your skull and filled you full of the sweetest sorrow you have ever known. It is just beautiful and heartbreaking and everything the music should be. Redemptive. Pure. Without it, life would be a mistake.

 She starts off on the shining new sound system at the Honey Moon with a conversation stopping a cappella interpretation of the eerie eden ahbez song Nature Boy. That was it: from the first few words of the song, the room became utterly quiet to listen to Sarah sing. She is one of those rare singers whose voice conveys warmth, vulnerability and strength at the same time. There is a natural intimacy to her delivery that makes you feel as if she is singing directly to you. As she eases through a beautiful set of songs, Red Right Ankle by the Decemberists (plaintive evocations in “we are bound by symmetry”), Man in the Long Black Coat (like you are hearing it for the first time), Traveling Woman by Bat for Lashes (aching with sorrow) up to Cole Porter’s You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To (the spectre of Billie Holliday), there is that rare and stunning quality that all great singers have: it is as if each of these songs are hers. Each is performed with such authentic beauty that it takes you just a moment to realize that they are covers. But it doesn’t matter, really. She just owns them all tonight. The stillness and reverence of the crowd in the packed room is impressive. There were points during her performance of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah where the crowd is just brought to a point of utter stillness by The Voice. Her guitar playing is deceptively accomplished, the perfect accompaniment.

 She sang several originals that wetted your appetite for more. She mentioned a forthcoming EP set to arrive sometime in March. She could’ve sold one to everyone in the room this night. One of her originals, No Matter What They Say of Love, sounded like a waltz out of a fevered dream of nostalgia, the ghost of a piano and vast rooms full of mirrors, the whisper of a thousand dances long since completed, memories floating through her melody like the pages of a love letter lost in the wind. Words fail. Her voice and the music transcend. Beautiful.

Sarah Goodin at the Black Drop Coffeehouse