Kristin Hersh - vocals, guitar
Throwing Muses leader and solo artist Kristin Hersh gives an incredibly intimate and passionate solo acoustic performance, taped at the famed McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, California. Recorded while Hersh was out promoting her 1998 solo album, Strange Angels, this performance is so up-close you will think she is performing in your living room, though McCabe's is essentially a living room venue, anyway.
The acclaimed singer/songwriter who first burst onto the alternative music scene in the mid-1980s with Throwing Muses had made a strong impact with music fans and critics alike, with metaphor-driven songs that usually speak to women in a very direct way. She spends considerable time talking to the crowd and waxing poetic about the various songs, but that's just icing on the cake. She opens with "Gazebo Tree" and "Heaven," and delivers 16 acoustic gems, mostly from her solo albums, with the occasional Muse tune thrown in. Stories about her life on the road are often very funny, such as the one about the first time she toured Sweden.
"Hope," "Like You," "Uncle June and Aunt Kiyote" and "Stained / Shake" are clearly highlights, but the show reaches a real high point when she sings the haunting and reflective, "Your Ghost."
Hersh was born in 1966 and raised in Newport, Rhode Island, not far from the legendary Jazz and Folk Festival locale. She came from a progressive family that exposed her to a wide spectrum of music at a very early age, ranging from the rural country sounds of the Carter Family and blues icon Robert Johnson to the pop/funk of Stevie Wonder and the universal rock of the Beatles.
By the time the early NY punk scene hit in the '70s, her parents were exposing her to acts like the Ramones and Patty Smith Group. In 1981, she formed Throwing Muses with her stepsister Tanya Donelly and some high school friends. In 1986, the alternative punk band was signed to 4AD Records in the U.K., which led to a U.S. deal with SIRE/Reprise in 1987. By 1994, she began her solo career while still fronting the Muses. She spent most of the 1990s trying to break gender-role rules, and in 2004 she formed a third project, a hardcore punk power trio called 50 Foot Wave. She remains active doing all three projects.