Last Friday night at the Mercury Lounge in New York City, country-rock chanteuse Dawn Landes displayed as purely charming a stage presence as I've seen in some time. Dressed in a lacy black dress, the Kentucky-born, Brooklyn-based singer, touring behind her recently-released Sweetheart Rodeo (Cooking Vinyl), riffed in-between songs about the kind of Broadway musical she'd like her band to be in, cracked jokes about Tinker Bell, pondered the nature of electricity, and drew laughs by saying, "And she's single!" about a friend of hers who she'd invited on-stage for an impromptu hula hoop demonstration. At one point, the audience member standing beside me said, "I just want to hang out with her!"
And did I mention she had a great smile?
The slightly confusing thing, though, was that Landes-as-a-person was more winning than Landes-as-a-musician. In her songs, which are often very good--and sometimes better than that--there's too much that feels readymade. Lyrical tropes (cowboys figureRead More »from Dawn Landes Will Charm You