by Tiana Feng
Since I was in the area for Bloor and Ossington Folk Festival earlier in the night, I ended my night at Lee’s Palace where Jenn Grant and Jim Bryson were keeping me on the folk-music train.
Bryson started the show solo. His stage banter made the audience erupt in laughter. The atmosphere he created was a lot like performing in front of his best friends. He told stories of opening for Lowest of the Low and how people used to yell “Fuck you” at him. This show had more of a loving feel. In fact a couple who was on their first date during his Falcon Lake Incident tour showed up and he gave them a kudos for still being together. The night’s setlist contained songs from Falcon Lake Incident among others from his catalog. He was great at improvizing both chitchat and musically. When his harmonica wasn’t tuned to the right key, he whistled. The highlight of his set was the very end when he wrote his own melody to the lyrics of Jay-Z’s “Holy Grail” (minus the Justin Timberlake part). I think I like Bryson’s version more.
Bryson, Julie Fader and the people I’d seen earlier as Julie Doiron’s band accompanied Jenn Grant on stage backing her lovely vocals with lush harmonies. The majority of her set focused on last year’s release The Beautiful Wild including tunes like my personal favourite, “The Fighter”. She also modestly tested the waters with some new material which were well received by the audience. I hope to hear a new record soon!