Kirsten Thien -Solo Live from the Meisenfrei Blues Club
A large portion of today’s working musicians are still carrying on the tradition of the lone troubadour singing to their own solo accompaniment of guitar or keys, to an often unfamiliar or uninterested audience and giving all they’ve got for a smattering of applause and a few bucks in the tip jar.
New York based Kirsten Thien found herself in just such a predicament on a drizzly night in a big rock club in Bremen Germany on a solo tour that was supposed to take her to more intimate and welcoming confines. Undaunted and armed with her acoustic guitar, tremendous musical chops, and a sheer force of will Thien won over the room with a mix of compelling original song and inspired covers. Even more remarkable is that by some miracle the event was recorded skillfully by soundman Ronnie Ahlers ,who documented the show which is now out for the whole world to hear as a CD titled: Solo Live from the Meisenfrei Blues Club.
Thien eases into the fifteen song set by weaving a spell with a few of her own smooth grooving original roots pop tunes warming the crowd with evocative vocal styling’s, before challenging them to sing along with her on the Ida Cox standard “Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues.” From then on you can feel the energy build with each song as Thien skillfully draws in the audience with playful asides and introductions; exhibiting a dynamic range that goes from a whisper to a shout in a breath of fire.
A fine surprise among the selections is her reading of Sheryl Crow’s “Leaving Las Vegas,” which she introduces by explaining that her “definition of the blues, is pretty broad,” and has more to do with the words than a specific musical style; a thought provoking sentiment indeed. Next she reaches down and channels Carol King on one of her best original tunes “Nobody’s Ever Loved Me Like You Do.” But before things get too serious Thien rocks the house with the old timey Sippie Wallace favorite “Women Be Wise,” and the driving Freddie King tune “I’d Rather Be Blind.” Her funky gender-ised version of “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” with its swirly vocals may be just a bit over dramatic, but she certainly does not hold anything back.
In the end the crowd rewards Thien with an encore which she deftly fulfills by melding “Aint No Sunshine,” with “The Thrill is Gone,” two night club standards well known to Rhythm & Blues fans worldwide; and the victory is hers to savor.
Rick J Bowen