Every once in a while you take advantage of an unexpected offer, totally unaware of what you will experience, and you wind up being introduced to something really beautiful. Tonight my boys and I had the opportunity to see ODi, a gorgeous talented Irish singer-songwriter touring the South for the last month or so. She, backed by her English friend Dave, delivered a really enjoyable acoustic set, a mix of original pieces and covers that enthralled the audience at Columbia's Unitarian Universalist auditorium. I feel sorry for those people who didn't attend. Strumming their guitars to what felt like a cozy coffee-house crowd, the duo playfully explained their songs and then wound us around their fingers, having no trouble enticing everyone to sing along. They were funny and cute, and even when she forgot lyrics to one cover that they hadn't practiced much, no one cared, because her chorus was sparkling. They had such a nice presence and rapport on stage, an easiness that was enchanting. Her voice is a joy---sharp and strong with a tinge of edginess, yet still soft and inviting---that will easily find a following with folk and country audiences, and crossover pop as well, though at times it felt as if she were holding back. She could easily have overpowered that small crowd, her voice seemed to have untapped strength.
In addition to playing covers of songs by artists such as John Martin, Springsteen, The Beatles, and Pearl Jam, they offered a number of original works that were quite good, polished in fact. And as nice as they were to hear live, her songs are also excellent with studio accompaniment (especially the piano), so go get a copy of Maslow's Songbook or download some songs. You can also experience the very nice "One in a Million," "Leaving My Love in New York," and "Something Beautiful" as well as others online, and I encourage you to do so. My favorite song of the night was "What You Deserve." Also very nice were "Devil's Dance," "You Win But You Lose," and the title piece. There were several other good ones, but can't remember the titles. If she comes to your town, make sure you attend, because you will not be disappointed.
My benefactor this evening (and I thank him very much), Fred Ingram, played the opening set during open mike, and I think it was one of the best I have heard from him, especially in tandem with mandolin-playing Bruce Clark, who also played a few solo pieces. Most of Fred's set I have heard before, but a few new pieces really captured my attention. I definitely liked his "Sonnets" introduction to covering "In Your Eyes." I also enjoyed Bruce's "Karaoke" song.
You can go to ODi's Myspace site at http://us.myspace.com/odimusic
She has a UK site, but the link is not working for me.