Full confession: I've probably listened to Alexi Murdoch's Time Without Consequence sever hundred times. It's the kind of album that gets under your skin, and stays there: quiet, melodic, but with a dark, brooding intensity bubbling just beneath the surface. So, imagine my excitement when I learned a couple of months ago that Alexi would be performing on Lincoln Center's American Songbook series.
Alexi, who has a loyal and dedicated following, doesn't play many shows - and never on a stage as grand as the Allen Room. "I'm a bit nervous up here," he admitted early on. "And I never get nervous at gigs." His set covered tracks from both Time Without Consequence and his new album, Toward The Sun, to be released next month.
As with other American Songbook shows, Alexi amplified his core band with brass and strings, which provided a subtle underpinning to his deft guitar playing. He's hardly an imposing presence - he looks just like any other hipster whith his full beard and hooded sweatshirt - but his deep voice and sophisticated sound had the room spellbound from start to finish. In an age where credibility seems to be aligned to vapidity, it's reassuring to see someone willing to go further, deeper. And, he's just getting started.