Basia Bulat February 12 L’Astral, Montreal

This was the first time I saw Basia live. I had been listening to her debut, Oh, My Darling, for quite some time. So upon hearing she had a new album on the way, and was going to be in town for a show, well, it was a no brainer.

Basia, and her band took the stage to applause. She started playing right away with the title track from her new album, Heart of My Own. Seconds into it, I was already impressed. She has a really great voice that is not as obvious solely listening to her album. I have not heard the new album yet, I did purchase it there, so I am looking forward to it (future LP of the week surely!), “Heart of My Own” is a very good song. And I can tell it will be a quality album from the selections she played from it. Not to mention all the favourable reviews I am already seeing.

I knew Basia was very fond of the autoharp. I did not not realise how much of a multi instrumentalist she is. Acoustic guitar for much of the show, semi acoustic I believe too (hey, I’m no musician myself, although I do want to learn guitar among others!), hammered harp, and ukulele. Of course this in addition to her great voice and writing very good songs.

She broke a string on her acoustic, and had to improvise, that was when she broke out the ukulele. She played “Before I Knew” with the Ukelele. It had the crowd keeping the rhythm with hand claps.

Her brother Bobby Bulat is on drums. The playing of “Snakes and Ladders” and later on, “I Was a Daughter”, both from her debut had my feet getting busy. She also went into some sad songs that still had people excited! Note, Basia had a good sense of humour, and to hear Basia sing, regardless of the song style is a treat.

The show ended with “I Was A Daughter”, before Basia, et. al. came back on stage very quickly before very enthusiastic applause had ended.

The encore ended with her doing an acoustic track, and finally a song she used to start shows with, however now ends with it. It was one without a microphone and just her vocals without accompaniment, save for her well timed boot tapping, and hand claps.

Very very worthwhile concert. I highly recommend checking her out on upcoming tourdates. She’ll be doing a couple dates in the Midwest, in Chicago and Minneapolis, along with western Canada. And more US dates, playing South by Southwest, and the eastern US.

Tour dates can be found at her official website, basiabulat.com. And check her out on Myspace.

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