NY’s own countrified blues rockers Rebecca Haviland and Whiskey Heart played an intimate show at the fancy underground cabaret lounge called Berlin in the East Village and enchanted the spellbound crowd with her supernaturally roaring voice and some hypnotizing jams. Haviland is a bluesy singer from Westchester, NY, who has definitely been a fixture on the NYC scene for some time now, and she channels a lot of classic country rockers and folksy crooners like Emmylou Harris, Joni Mitchell, Kacey Musgraves, and Linda Ronstadt. Rebecca and her songwriting partner and on-stage bassist Chris Anderson create a strong duo base for a lush sound that also includes Kenny Shaw from Dispatch on drums and Todd Caldwell of Crosby Stills & Nash playing some electrifying keyboards. They are playing in support of their new album Bright City Lights that was recorded in my neck of the woods, at Atomic Sound in Red Hook, and it all sounds sublime.
Abrielle Scharff opened the show with a magnetic solo set playing everything from enchanting covers of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon” to originals like the tenderizing heartbreak of “New York Makes Me Cry.” She is a very fascinating young musician, and I look forward to hearing more from her.
Rebecca Haviland is a disarming personality, and she really connects with her audience while making the art of charming a crowd seem effortless. Her voice was truly awe-inspiring, as she rose from deeply raspy growls to towering crescendos of tempest-like wails that belong in the pantheon of all-time country caterwauls. The set that included favorites like “Bourbon” and “Bright City Lights” felt rich, warm, and full with a band that clearly felt a close personal bond to the music. I got my vinyl copy of Bright City Lights after the show, and I highly suggest you pick up your copy and get out to see them next chance you get.
Article: Dean Keim