Reviews

Ask The Night

Author: David Chiu
10/22/2009 | Spinner.com | www.spinner.com | Live Show Preview
In comparison to the numerous indie rockers who have taken over New York for this week's CMJ Music Marathon, Azure Ray singer-guitarist Orenda Fink brought a really subdued sensibility with her solo performance at The Studio at Webster Hall. The slow folk songs that Fink and her band played yesterday afternoon reflected the roots and the mood of the old South, which made for an interesting contrast considering the locale.

Accompanied by a guitar/mandolin player and an accordionist-backing singer, the Birmingham, Ala. native drew a majority of the set from her wonderful second solo album, 'Ask the Night,' which was released on Oct. 6. And just like that album, the songs that were performed live at the Studio conveyed something that was very pastoral and haunting.

Fink kicked off the show with the ethereal-sounding 'Why Is the Night Sad,' and 'That Certain Something Spring,' which was performed later in the set, followed in that same vein. The strong Southern influence was also evident on tunes such as the Appalachia-inspired 'Sister' and the dark country-folk of 'High Ground.' But while most the songs from the set list certainly had a melancholy air to them, there were a few buoyant and tuneful moments in the form of 'Alabama' and 'Dirty South,' the latter song from her first solo album, 2005's 'Invisible Ones.'

As for herself, Fink sang in a mild-mannered style that seemed effortless but yet still resonated, and the result was a concert that was very intimate. In two days of loud rock shows throughout CMJ so far, Fink's calm performance set itself apart from the usual.
Ask The Night

Ask The Night

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