TO DO LIST: Laura Tsagarris @ The Hamilton THIS SATURDAY

Not to take anything away from the Hamilton, which is a wonderful venue, but for Laura Tsaggaris, Saturday’s record release party for her new album Everyman will probably be a bit anti-climactic. After all, the album received a glowing review from this very website. Tsaggaris then had the unique honor of joining us on the podcast (you can download just our interview with Laura from iTunes HERE), where she performed the title track from the new record. After a one-two punch like that, it’s sad to say there is simply nowhere for her seemingly brilliant young career to go but downhill.

Thus, Tsaggaris’ show at the Hamilton – as wonderful as it is certain to be - will only feel like an also-ran. Sure it’s one of the classiest joints in the most powerful city in the world, but it ain’t Andre’s basement in Arlington, the exotic location of our podcast recording sessions. Sure it’s got a fantastic, crystal-clear sound system and Tsaggaris will have her incredibly talented band behind her, but without Chunky writers there to ask half-assed questions, the whole operation will no doubt just seem hollow. And yes, she’s got Chapel Hill’s very well-dressed The Old Ceremony opening for her, whose most recent record, Fairytales and Other Forms of Suicide is as assured, understated, and pretty as Tsaggaris’ own record; but really, the mock game show announcer voice we use to open the podcast is infinitely more mature.

Granted, there are upsides – the Hamilton has good food and Tsaggaris will probably get a free meal, which we did not offer her. They have a larger beer selection than what’s in Andre’s fridge. She’ll be playing for paying customers, instead of Kevin and Justin. The bottom line is she’s a wonderful musician and performer, not to mention a trooper with a positive attitude – I’m sure that, despite these adverse conditions, she’ll make the most of it. Please join us Saturday night and cheer her on.


REVIEW: Laura Tsaggaris - Everyman

Many different things can happen to an artist’s sound while they’re assembling their third record. If their first two records have a similar feel, they can switch gears and put together something entirely different. If their first two records are wildly divergent, the third can bridge the two sounds (think Patty Griffin’s 1000 Kisses). Finally, a skilled, assured artist, can keep on doing what they’ve always done, building other small, subtle layers on their already formidable skills.

Such is the case with Everyman, Laura Tsaggaris’ third full-length record. It’s certainly not difficult to hear the quiet folk of her debut, Proof, or the more rocking parts of her sophomore album, Keep Talking. But Everyman is easily her most assured yet, a lovely collection of 13 pop songs, each of which brings something unique to the table. Some of that credit is due to producer Jamie Candiloro, who has worked with artists as diverse as Ryan Adams, Willie Nelson, Courtney Love, Luscious Jackson, and REM. Also in the mix are skilled session musicians like pedal steel player Marty Rifkin (Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty) and guitarist Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, Norah Jones). But by far the most credit is due to Tsaggaris (suhGAIRiss) herself, who, if you live in the DC area, has grown before our eyes into one of the great local treasures.