You gotta love Amoeba Music recording artist Brandi Shearer, who earlier tonight (Thursday 23rd) treated everyone to cupcakes at her final New York City gig in a series at downtown Lower East Side club the Living Room. As a thoughtful display of gratitude for her New York supporters, the generous Shearer celebrated her last night of a month-long East Coast tour by buying a few dozen cupcakes (from Sugar Sweet Sunshine bakery on nearby Rivington Street) for all who packed into the Ludlow St. venue. "I bought cupcakes for you all for after the show," she told the delighted Living Room crowd before she and her band, led by legendary guitarist Jim Campilongo and including Richard Hammond on bass, launched into their last offering of the night -- another song in the 45-minute set that drew exclusively from the singer/songwriter's brand new album Close To Dark, to be released on the newly launched Amoeba Music label next Tuesday (August 28th). Fittingly, Shearer's next gig (post album release date) will be back in California at Amoeba Music Hollywood on Saturday, September 1st at 2PM, PST. (Note that this gig will be streamed online so you can catch it if you are not in LA.)
But for the past few weeks Shearer has been hella busy out here on the East Coast doing an assortment of concerts, radio and TV interviews and performances in Boston, Philly, and New York City. Here in NYC, in addition to her Living Room series, she also had several other performances including one for ASCAP and another on New York City's WPIX TV Channel 11. "I'd never been to New York before recently," she informed me shortly before taking the Living Room stage. "But I like it here." She said that the New York audiences have been incredibly attentive and well-behaved, especially compared to some of the more rowdy types of crowds that she has witnessed over her rich and varied career. She recalled the semi-shock she encountered the first night, three weeks ago, at the Living Room when "In between songs there was not a word, not a word. And I am just not used to that. I have strategies for people yelling and fist-fights. But for a completely attentive crowd I have no strategies," she laughed. But still, she had absolutley no problem adjusting to the well behaved audience, as proven by tonight's winning performance in which she shone (as did Jim Campilongo who plays the Living Room every Monday) during such songs as the roadhouse blues styled "Oh, Singer" and the sultry, hauntingly beautiful and sad country-soul of "Congratulations," a song that sounds like it's made to be featured in some movie soundtrack if ever there was one. (You can just imagine it as the perfect backdrop to some sad and moving love story.) Between songs Brandi got a warm response when she told the New York crowd that she herself had become a New Yorker of sorts during her past few weeks in the Big Apple -- proof being that she had mastered how to ride the New York City subway while transporting an instrument.