One of many differences between Heather Maloney and you or I is that we would not be in nearly as good a mood as she was after driving 10 hours to Thursday night’s show at Jammin’ Java. (That’s literally driving, not having one of her two band mates driving her; she was behind the wheel for the duration. And remember, there was a big ole storm that night.) To say that the weather and the drive didn’t affect her show is an understatement; Maloney offered a wonderful performance of music and storytelling ranging from quiet, soft folk ballads to jumpy pop songs, from southern blues rock to a Leonard Cohen cover that easily gave the original a run for its money.
She kicked off the night with “Nightstand Drawer” from her second album, Time and Pocket Change. The song – one of many that features Maloney playing a four-string tenor guitar – was a great intro, and the repeated chorus of “hey baby, you can talk to me tonight” was heeded by the crowd, which happily exchanged dialogue with Maloney throughout the show. Storytelling is rapidly becoming as much of a Maloney staple as her music; she led into a speedy cover of the Beatles’ “Her Majesty” by talking about how she would jump on her bed as a child while listening to a record of the song. (She added a fantastic cover of Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire” later in the night.) “Angelfish,” a new song, was preceded by a great story about a visit to Mark Twain’s house.