Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Jack White violinist Lillie Mae makes her own mark opening for Ben Harper

Posted By on Tue, May 2, 2017 at 2:46 PM

Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals and Lillie Mae, Hard Rock Live, May 1
click to enlarge Lillie Mae
  • Lillie Mae
Nashville’s Lillie Mae is emerging to the world packing a lot of honors. In her native country circles, the young musician already has a long history in family acts, most notably Jypsi, an all-sibling group that charted on country Top 40. Outside that, she’s a Third Man artist and known as Jack White’s violinist, so she also comes tall with indie cred. And she arrived in town on the sails of a debut full-length album (Forever and Then Some) – a star-spangled, White-produced work featuring notable guests from Old Crow Medicine Show, the Dead Weather and the Howlin’ Brothers (whose own recent show review will print in tomorrow’s column) that released just a couple weeks before this show.
click to enlarge Lillie Mae - LAURA PARTAIN
  • Laura Partain
  • Lillie Mae
Lillie Mae’s music is a modern Americana sound that’s a blend of tradition and edge. Despite some of her past in mainstream country, though, her solo material doesn’t resort to dumb young-country sass to prove it’s legit. Nor is it some curtseying crystal daisy. Instead, it’s a dance of guts and grace that pairs folk fineness with some genuine honky-tonk step. Her voice – the clear jewel in the mix – is that balance embodied, lining its loveliness with just enough steel. And even though she’s stepping out on her own passage, the family bonds continue to endure in studio and on stage with some siblings still by her side.
click to enlarge Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals - DANNY CLINCH
  • Danny Clinch
  • Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
Apparently, headliner Ben Harper is not just something that everyone graduates from after college. Still, he’s nothing if not reliable. But even though the guy’s soulful, he’s too often content to groove with a soft, gooey sensibility, which is really only good when talking about a candy bar.


This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.

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