Patty Loveless: Live last night
By Juli Thanki
"I want you to feel like you're in my living room," Patty Loveless said to a worshipful Birchmere crowd Sunday night. The giant '30s console radio and table lamps onstage certainly added to the effect as the honey-voiced Loveless delivered two hours of country and bluegrass music, or, as she put it, "sharing music about real people and real life situations."
(A pair of standing ovations and covers of George Jones and Emmylou Harris, after the jump.)
The set list was organized in roughly chronological order, beginning with her cover of Lucinda Williams' "The Night's Too Long" (a Loveless single in 1990), progressing to timeless country songs by Ray Price and George Jones from her covers album "Sleepless Nights," and ending with a block of bluegrass music, her most recent endeavor, with a few deep cuts -- and a rowdy singalong of her biggest hit "Blame It On Your Heart" -- thrown in for good measure.
Though Loveless was in good spirits, teasing her band members and joking with audience members, two somber moments punctuated the evening. Loveless, a coalminer's daughter (her father died of black lung), brought the crowd to their feet with her stunning bluegrass version of "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive," dedicated to her late parents, who had "the best seat in the house." She also dedicated "Too Many Memories" to the late Stephen Bruton, fighting tears as she ended the song with a sincere "Thank you, Stephen."
An encore that included Emmylou Harris' gospel song "Diamond in My Crown" brought the Birchmere crowd to its feet once more. The last one to exit the stage, Patty Loveless turned out the lights.
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