Cozy and unassuming, the set peeked into a loose-knit community that always has works in progress, not to mention comradely banter. One unbilled guest, the guitarist and songwriter Annie Clark (aa St. Vincent), called Mr. Bartlett “the best worst influence in my life.”
The shows, Mr. Bartlett said, are modeled on salons held by friends in their Chelsea apartment, known as the Elevated Hole. Le Poisson Rouge was set up in the round, with the musicians facing one another in a circle, as in a studio or rehearsal space (and with their backs to part of the audience). Doveman’s fellow songwriters came and went informally, sharing old songs and brand-new ones.
Ms. Clark sang Brian Eno’s “Some of Them Are Old” as a kind of hymn, accompanied only by Mr. Bartlett’s crystalline piano chords, except for a middle section of pounding rock topped by her distorted lead guitar. Nico Muhly took over the piano for the episodic Romantic surges of his “Drones and Piano” while Mr. Bartlett supplied the synthesizer drone. And when Mr. Hansard called for a Levon Helm beat, Ray Rizzo on drums had the right one immediately.
For info on the residency and tickets go here.
(photo above by Brian Harkin for the New York Times)