A few weeks ago, I attended Alfa’s CD release show for her latest album, Second Skin. The back room of the Sidewalk Cafe is an intimate space (with a freezing draft) that was well suited for Alfa’s set, even with her full band in tow.
After a quick line check, the band launched straight into “Don’t Write Your Goodbyes,” a mid-tempo jaunty tune. Dave Dodds (drums) and Jon McElroy (bass) held down a solid rhythm to support Alfa’s vocals and guitar. Backing vocals from Laura Dadap helped give the show an upbeat energy and personality. Also joining the group for a few numbers was Alfa’s sister Faye. Called up onto stage by a sisterly, “Hey, poopface!”, Faye lent her skills as a pianist for the performance of the new album’s title track.
Alfa’s vocals were spot on the entire evening while her backing band playfully interacted with each other throughout the show without distracting the audience. The live arrangements were pretty faithful to the recording, but just as I was starting to wonder if there was going to be any variation, Alfa busted out a down-tempo, funky cover of The Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “Give It Away.” Excellent.
They closed out the show with “Foot Out The Door,” also from the new album, complete with “whoaaa” audience sing-along. I’m always a sucker for sing-alongs.