Monday, July 1, 2019

Concert Review: The Wolff Sisters at Redemption Rock Brewery, 28 June 2019

For as long as we have been doing this blog together, what's stunning is that I just kind of stopped going to see live music. It wasn't entirely by choice - with a sick parent and a newborn, plus a lot of other responsibilities to go along with it, the days of me hitting two concerts a week 45 minutes plus away for bands to go on at midnight are long, long behind me. The last concert I went to, in fact, was with Ken and his wife to see David Wax Museum in late 2012.

We love The Wolff Sisters here and for good reason. It's authentic-sounding folk rock right in our backyard, and the trio, often with their backing band, plays shows fairly regularly in the area. Last Friday night, however, they were doing a stripped-down appearance less than 15 minutes from my house for a two-hour set at Redemption Rock Brewery for free in Worcester, MA, and I knew I had to go.

Redemption Rock, named after a historic location in the Princeton, MA area, opened this past January and have run their share of interesting events and musicians that we've featured here. I had never been, but it's a nice little brewery right in the heart of Shrewsbury Street. The musical area was on a field turf picnic table area, and the acoustics and atmosphere were fine for the music (even if the consistent stream of Parks and Recreation on the screen above was a little distracting). And yeah, the beer was good, too - I got a solid cherry-based sour beer and a pretzel, and all was well.

But you're not reading this for a venue or beer review (although both are worth checking out if you're in the area and/or something is happening), but for The Wolff Sisters. The three women went through their two albums throughout their roughly two-hour set, mixing in some of the slower and more deliberate tracks with the upbeat "rockers" (for lack of a better term) from Cahoon Hollow. As one might expect in a show such as this, a couple covers were tossed in the mix as well, and the Wolff take on Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" was a true highlight of the evening as they made the classic song very much their own. The band also mixed in some new numbers; singer/guitarist Rebecca Wolff told me after the show that we can expect them on a new album this fall.

Musical highlight of the night, for me, though, was "Down By the Lake," which is my favorite song of theirs and the crowd agreed. While the number of people there for the group was far outnumbered by those enjoying their Friday, the energy in the space shifted significantly during that song and you could tell that it was something truly special. "Down By the Lake" is one of those songs that makes me wonder why this band hasn't caught fire yet, and hopefully their efforts to make it outside of the Boston area more helps that out.

The musicianship of these three women can't be denied, and there's definitely a charisma there that, when their songs were connecting with the audience, really worked. I'm glad I took the time to see them. They have a handful of shows planned in the next month with what one would expect to be more to come in the fall.

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