One microphone. Two acoustic guitars. Whatever kinda guitar it is that Rawlings plays like it's coming from the heavens. Stand-up bass. Banjo later. Maybe something I'm forgetting. They opened with the jubilant "Monkey and the Engineer." The room erupted as it ended. Five musicians playing Americana or folk or rock n' roll, with a fierce passion. Later came the beautiful "Bells of Harlem," the stunning "Ruby" and the Ryan Adams co-penned "To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)" which blew Adams' version out of the water.
The set was only about a thirty minutes, but like Oldham down in Big Sur, Slint at Bimbo's or Son Volt at the Fillmore, it was just one of those shows. Rawlings and his band make and perform music that seems to be straight from the woods, or the ground, or the stars. It was that beautiful and that captivating. Five unbelievable musicians playing every single note like it truly mattered. And boy did it matter.