Liz Longley is stunning, and she is also very, very talented, a fact that quickly became apparent as she took the stage at the New Hope Winery Friday night, bringing with her a pocket full of songs of betrayal and passion.
A Berklee School of Music graduate and Livingston Taylor protégé, she kept a surprisingly full house spellbound as she wend her way through tales of love gone wrong, leavened with humorous anecdotes about how and why it all went bad.
Playing two capoed, open-tuned acoustic guitars, piano and backed occasionally by Brian Dunn on guitar and vocals (Mr. Dunn was also her opening act), she showed that she was not only a superlative writer and vocalist, but also an excellent guitarist, playing a driving and delicate guitar as a counterpoint to her evocative lyrics and fluid vocals.
Salient points in the set were “Camaro,” a tale of fast metal and an old flame, “Unraveling,” a brilliantly painful story of a grandmother with dementia, “Get Out of My Head,” a hard song about missing a parted lover with a tricky play on words, and the beautiful ballad “This Is Not the End” about a cousin who died in the Iraq War.
Ms. Longley maintains a grueling road pace from her new home of Nashville (she is a Philadelphia native), performing over 100 dates per year and even more impressively doing all her own booking. She has opened for Shawn Colvin, Amos Lee, Paula Cole, Nanci Griffith, Livingston Taylor, Lori McKenna and Colin Hay, and her music is heard throughout NBC’s critically-acclaimed NY Med. She just signed a five-record contract with Universal Records, and Sirius XM has picked up her captivating cover of Van Morrison’s “Moondance” along with her own “You Got Trouble,” so you can expect to hear more from her soon.
Meanwhile, the Winery lineup doesn’t stop, with Dar Williams playing Sunday, and upcoming shows like Tusk (The Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band), Kashmir’s Led Zeppelin Tribute, comic Suzanne Westerhof, the wonderful C. J. Chenier, Mary Fahl of October Project, the Smithereens, Loudon Wainright III, and Steve Forbert.