Emmet Haltigan

Julia Haltigan at Rockwood Music Hall

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Julia Haltigan headlined a set at Rockwood Music Hall last night. It was the last show of a month-long residency at Rockwood 1. In April, she’ll be moving to Rockwood 2. I couldn’t make the earlier shows this month, but I was determined to catch her again after enjoying her set last October, and her song at the Full Vinyl show a few weeks ago.

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Not that you will believe me, or care, but what I’m about to do is not out of laziness at all. I just re-read my previous post about Julia, and with a few exceptions, every word applied directly to last night’s show. So, if you want to know about Julia, and/or her fantastic band, or the specific feel of the previous show, or of last night’s show, read that post in its entirety.

I will note a few differences here (very few) and put in photos of last night’s show (to prove to you that we were indeed there). Winking smile

First and foremost, I nit-picked a bit about Sam Feldman’s guitar play at the previous show. No nits last night, literally. I don’t know if he wasn’t feeling well last time, or was off for any other reason, but he was excellent on every number last night. As I noted in the previous post, his guitar is a very critical part of Julia’s sound, so his elevated play was most welcome!

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Julia closed with the same cover, and again, Sam was spectacular on the acoustic guitar (the only time he wasn’t on the electric during the set).

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I didn’t note it last time, so perhaps it wasn’t as evident (I do tend to be pedantic), but Julia has superb stage presence. She’s very comfortable during and between songs.

JoeAncowitzJuliaHaltigan

She had her hair done for the show. She noted it (and I do as well) because the woman who styled it was in the audience, and Julia highly recommended her services. Nice shout-out. I didn’t lock in the name, because I’m unlikely to need her services (unless she has a secret to regrow my giant bald spot), but anyone who would like to leave her name in the comments is encouraged to do so! Smile

JuliaHaltiganHairdo

These two are repeats, but they deserve the shout outs:

Joe Ancowitz was excellent on the trumpet and the vocals. The brass adds a very nice character to Julia’s songs.

JoeAncowitzSingingJoeAncowitzTrumpet

Steve Williams is great on the drums (all three times we’ve seen him).

SteveWilliams

Some more photos:

BennetMillerBennetMillerBass

EmmetHaltiganMandolinEmmetHaltiganHarmonica

JoeAncowitzJuliaHaltiganBennettMillerHarmony

Julia is firmly on my list of people to keep seeing, so if you show up to a future show, you’re likely to see me there too. Smile

Here was Julia’s cheat sheet (perhaps not a literal set list):

SetListCheatSheet

Julia Haltigan at Rockwood Music Hall

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Julia Haltigan headlined a set at Rockwood Music Hall. She was sandwiched in between two sets we were planning on seeing, making it very easy for us to check her music out.

Mostly Rock, with a number of twists (Trumpet, Harmonica, Electric Mandolin), with nuance among the numbers even within the Rock genre.

Julia has a wonderful voice. She played acoustic guitar (rhythm) on most songs. On two (or three?) she sang without playing the guitar. Given the size of the band, it was a bit hard for me to follow a lot of the lyrics, so I won’t comment other than to say that nothing struck me as poorly done.

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While there were a few slow songs (one a bluesy rock number, another a jazz one), most were energetic up-beat toe-tappers.

Julia was supported by five people, left-to-right on stage:

Sam Feldman on electric and acoustic guitar (no good individual link). Sam did a very nice job on electric (mostly). A number of times (in particular in the first number), his play felt a bit sloppy to me. Unfortunately, that made me notice other nits throughout his play. At times, he was really good too, so I’m not sure if last night was anomalous.

SamFeldmanElectricGuitar

The shame is that the electric guitar is a centerpiece of Julia’s sound. In my opinion, she would have benefitted from a more solid performance, even if that person didn’t flash as much as Sam did occasionally.

That said, Julia closed the show with a duet, she sang and Sam played her acoustic guitar (the only number he played acoustic on). It was a cover of Richard Thompson’s 1952 Vincent Black Lightning.

SamFeldmanAcousticGuitar

He was superb on that number, a very difficult one. Here’s a YouTube video of them doing it in June, next door at Rockwood 2:

Julia Haltigan and Sam Feldman performing Richard Thompson’s 1952 Vincent Black Lightning

Joe Ancowitz on trumpet and vocals (no good individual link). Joe was great on the trumpet, a couple of times taking long tasty leads. He was also the primary backup singer with Julia, doing a very nice job.

JoeAncowitzJuliaHaltigan

Emmet Haltigan on electric mandolin and harmonica. Emmet stood behind Julia, so I only got glimpses of him when Julia stepped to the side. Yes, he’s her dad. He played roughly 1/2 the numbers on electric mandolin and the rest on harmonica. I couldn’t hear a single note of the mandolin over the other instruments so I can’t judge whether he’s good. I can simply judge that the mandolin doesn’t add to Julia’s sound, because I enjoyed the set without hearing a note of it.

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Emmet was very good on the harmonica, which while not loud, was at least noticeable. Like the trumpet, it added color to Julia’s songs, making them not straight up rock.

Bennett Miller on electric bass and vocals. Bennett was excellent on bass and did a nice job on vocals. He sang alone with Julia on at least one number, but for the most part, he joined Joe to give more oomph to the background vocals while Julia belted out the leads.

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Steve Williams on drums. Steve was fantastic on the drums, which were also a critical piece of Julia’s sound. Smooth as butter, never too loud, fast when appropriate, but mostly, just the right sensibility.

SteveWilliams

So, even though I had a (minor) complaint about the electric guitar, this band does an excellent job in backing up a talented singer. A very nice way to spend a completely unexpected hour.