Live at the Majestic
Kate Schrock has this reputation for being one seriously deep chick - people are always describing her music as haunting, or ultra-personal, or mesmerizing. This live album will get you. Unless you're just completely heartless. Here, Schrock is laid completely bare, with her piano the only thing accompanying her (yes) mesmerizing voice singing (you got it) ultra-personal lyrics. Take 'The Edge' as an example. On Dames Rocket, the tune opens with some poppy Jim Begley drums, then mixes in some guitar by Steve Drown and brother Nate. When the chorus comes, you might be led to believe this is an upbeat tune. But here on the live album the chorus just about knocks you down. 'I'd go to the edge,' Schrock sings desperately, her voice rising for the last syllable, 'trying to understand.' Whoever this guy is that can 'look upon someone with both love and hate,' who can 'lie and cheat and still sleep at night' - well, I just wanted to grab him by the collar and give him a good shake for making anyone desperate enough to sing a song like that. Such passion from someone who claims to be nervous in pre-song banter is damn impressive. Recorded in June 2001 in Tulsa, Oklahoma while Schrock was on tour with Monte Montgomery, this disc is good, and not just because it's a fine mix of tunes off Schrock's Shunyata ('Overboard' and 'Madman' sparkle), Refuge (a spare 'Mission Beach' is very cool), and Dames Rocket ('St. Jude' would do Billy Joel proud). It's a lasting document of what makes Schrock's music original and profound. - Sam Pfeifle.