Personnel: Darren Embry (vocals); Geoffrey Moore (guitar); Ann Marie Milazzo (acoustic guitar, clarinet, keyboards, percussion, background vocals); Rich Mercurio (drums).
Audio Mixer: Bob Clearmountain.
Recording information: The Anspacher Stage, The Public Theatre, New York, NY (03/2004).
Editors: Brandon Duncan; Emily Branham.
In March of 2004 singer/songwriter Jonatha Brooke spent ten days at the Anspacher in the Public Theater in New York, performing songs from her four solo albums as well as the two she had released as part of the duo the Story. The highlights of the show were recorded and released as the aptly titled Live in New York, which came out two years later. The track list shouldn't shock anyone familiar with Brooke's music: songs like "Crumbs," "Red Dress," "Linger," and "Steady Pull" are all included, as are "Inconsolable," from her 1995 album Plumb (in nine-minute form here, thanks to some intensive guitar work by Geoffrey Moore) and "So Much Mine," on which she sings with backup vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Ann Marie Milazzo. Most of the pieces are played with a four-piece band (with Brooke taking most of the acoustic guitar responsibilities), though some, like the bittersweet "Deny" and "Love Is More Thicker Than Forget" feature just the singer and her keyboard, and fit nicely with the rest of the album. Brooke's voice sounds great throughout all of Live in New York, from the intensity in "Room in My Heart" to the soft hopefulness in "No Net Below," it's strong and clear and expressive, taking command over everything on the stage. There isn't much between-song banter on the album (more of it is included on the DVD), but it's better that way, because it's her singing, and not her brief explanations and stories, that the audience wants to here. Live in New York doesn't hold many surprises, but it does an excellent job of representing Brooke and her talent, and the power and intimacy of her live show. [The DVD included is the concert footage of the same songs, interspersed with a few scenes from rehearsal and backstage, and does an equally good job of showing the singer's stage presence and personality.] ~ Marisa Brown