Caroline Smith's new live album was recorded at the Cedar Cultural Center, so naturally it's a pin-drop quiet and sonically rich recording that plays with a sense of immediacy, as if Smith and her backing guitarist Jesse Schuster are sitting just a few feet away. Though she normally plays with a full band, this two-piece arrangement works just as well, Schuster keeping time with a quickly strummed acoustic guitar and Smith's voice taking on an even more accentuated warble than usual, punctuating her more vulnerable lyrics with a noticeable quiver. Only a few of the tracks are repeats from her debut album, Backyard Tent Set, though most will be familiar to those who have seen her play live, including lovesick ballads ("She Ain't Got It"), whimsical tales of nostalgia ("Birch Trees and Broken Bones," "Sally"), and an agonizing and emotional plea to a boy who's done her wrong ("Denim Boy"). Smith will release the CD as part of the MinnEconomy series at the Electric Fetus, which hosts monthly in-store performances and promotes local albums and artists. She will be performing this evening with alt-country sweethearts Romantica. All ages.
Thu., Jan. 14, 7 p.m., 2010