It would be hard to find a more impressive show than Theresa Andersson’s performance Friday night at Joe’s Pub. The Swedish born and New Orleans raised musician is a virtual one-woman band using looping pedals to record segments of each song which combine for an amazingly sophisticated sound live in front of the audience. There are a few musicians out there today using this method of performing but one can’t imagine anyone could make it look so effortless balancing a violin, a guitar, drums, percussion elements, and vocals and seemingly having so much fun in the process. Theresa’s spirit was contagious as she danced on stage with a big smile and bowled the audience away with her incredibly soulful voice.
She began the show and made an impression immediately with a stirring a cappella introduction using just a tambourine and followed it up with a few tracks off of her new album Hummingbird, Go! (which she recorded entirely in her kitchen). The brilliant “Birds Fly Away” was a standout song with its Motown feel along with a very catchy track entitled “Na Na Na” which shows off Theresa skills with looping and multi-tasking.
As the mid-point of the show approached Theresa invited friends Davell Crawford, a legendary pianist and vocalist from New Orleans, and jazz-pop singer-songwriter Sonya Kitchell to join her onstage. The trio was fantastic in their harmonizing and jazzy call and response and the songs showed how far Theresa’s talents stretched. They covered a number of tunes such as “We Are One”, which was inspired by the recent presidential inauguration and a momentous cover of Betty Harris’s “Nearer to You” which was produced by Allen Toussaint. Theresa thanked Allen (who played the Pub earlier in the week) for his inspiration and knocked the audience out with her heartfelt vocals producing a range that should win her an epic title (maybe the Queen of Soul Loops?) someday soon.
The trio left the stage and the crowd understandably demanded more so Theresa stepped back up for a cover of Crosby, Stills, and Nash’s “Find the Cost of Freedom”. She ended the set like she began it, a cappella, but this time looping her vocal track producing a powerful crescendo calling Davell and Sonya back up for a climactic vocal improvisation which was truly dazzling.
Here's a video of Theresa recording a song in her kitchen to give you a better idea: