Tinker Street Cafe
Monday July 7, 1996
If you have photos and/or more information about this show, including thoughts and posts, please contact me. I'd love to include them.
Happy Rhodes - Lead vocals and guitar
Kevin Bartlett - electric guitars & interesting electronic box full of goodies
Carl Adami- Bass
Kelly Bird - Backing vocals
Two songs from this show, Flash Me Up and Don't Dream It's Over (a Crowded House cover), appeared on the Left Hand Demos
Trivia: Jeff Buckley was in the audience. I have no other information.
This is the only picture I've seen of Happy at the Tinker Street Cafe
Photo by Kerry White and linked from meth's page
Tinker Street Cafe. Woodstock, NY. July 7, 1996
This was a special night, owing to the fact that it didn't involve any driving. However, I didn't get to see much of the show because the club was small and packed, and I was on the patio gabbing with friends and stuffing my face. I guess that doesn't make for a caliber review. Happy, however, looked darling in knee socks. Kelly joined the throng this time and added to the band by way of a little percussion and, as always, astounding backing vocals.
The show, which consisted of one set, included "Look For The Child", "Words Weren't Made For Cowards", "Collective Heart", "Take Me With You", "Save Our Souls", the new tune "How It Should Be", "Lay Me Down", "Possessed", "lork", "The Issue Is", "Phobos", "Summer", Duran Duran's "Come Undone", "If So", Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over", "Flash Me Up", Peter Gabriel's "Here Comes The Flood". and "When The Rain Came Down". It was a more casual gig, but blue-ribbon nonetheless. It was especially nifty that Happy's Woodstock neighbors got another taste of her talents.
Tom Ditto's account of the show from ecto:
Date: Mon, 8 Jul 1996 13:36:49 -0500
From: email@example.com (Tom Ditto)
Subject: Woodstock Cafe
Happy in Woodstock. This was good. Very good. Perhaps because it was next door to her home, perhaps because the stars were in order (7/7 should be a good day), for what ever reason or lack of it, Ms. Rhodes was at her best. At one point she stopped and spoke, "I don't want to say it's hot but..." It was sweltering inside that tiny box. The ceiling fans did little more than blow Happy's hair into her mouth. Only a true stage trooper would pass this test. She did. A-plus. Amen.
Random thoughts... Kevin has taken to bending chords. It was an odd contrast to Happy's dead-center right on key singing. She nailed every note for 90 minutes and carried the group. The overall effect was like a wavy wide background rainbow with a brilliant coherent laser beam shining right down the middle. Unfortunately, the space ate 50% of their sound. Happy's lyrics were so muddied by the cafe accoustics that I couldn't distinguish the very simple words "If so..." until the third verse of that song. The space swallowed half of what Kevin was doing before it reached my ears in the standing room section. I particularly missed the effects of Happy's sub-alto range. I blame the microphone circuit, because Carl's bass was well reproduced. However, I caught the sound check at 6:30 when the space was relatively empty and quiet. In those conditions I heard all the sound, and it was fluid. What does this mean for you, the listener? Well, I guess we'll get to enjoy the intended effects on the next CD. And what a CD it ought to be. The new stuff they played is beyond amazing.
By the way, after the sound check for Rhodes came a another quick check for the lead-in band, Ritual Motion. Their sound check was dreadful, and I almost fled the scene (It's true, I almost left rather than have to wade through a bad band to get to a good one). However, their set leading into Happy's was fine. I apologize to Kerry White for giving RM a bad pre-review. In particular, I liked the light and fluent bongo player with her vocals. Happy, if you're reading this, give that artist an audition. You need a drummer, but not one that will drown you out. Here was a singer who hit her harmonies and can keep any beat (Ritual Motion prides itself in using ancient rhythms not heard since Mycenea).
As it was, Kelly Bird was down from Albany, and her back-up singing is practiced and perfect. Compared to the solo voice I heard in a dub of the Philly show (thank you, Kerry), that second singer makes a huge difference, because the Rhodes' orchestration is a multi-voiced concept. Don't tell me that "less is more," unless you are prepared to say peace is war. I love watching Kelly at work too. She sings the whole song to herself, stepping up to the mike when it's time to be heard. You know, the same thing happens in my head. Good thing there are no mikes in the back of the room where this fan stands.