Sarah Slean

December 8 at Ginger’s Tavern

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Published December 15, 2005.Sarah SleanDecember 8 at Ginger’s TavernWithout the audience-performer divide of a stage, Sarah Slean came into the second of a two-night stand at Ginger’s minus the breathy voice and dippy theatrics that can bog down her bigger, full-band shows. Strip that shit away and you’ve got a mesmerizing storyteller who’s like Holly McNarland’s good twin—how does such a monsterous voice come out of a source that tiny? The first—and reportedly inebriated—show boasted much back catalogue-combing, and so this night would’ve been great for the not-quite-converted as she hauled out all the album favourites (“Eliot,” “Suncan” and “My Invitation” from Night Bugs; “Pilgrim,” “Out in the Park” and “Vertigo” from Day One) and hit singles (“Lucky Me,” “Mary,” Sweet Ones”). Halfway through the first set she asked for requests and got an earful, playing ours (“Me I’m a Thief,” which we adored despite her singing the same verse twice) and a rendition of “Bank Accounts” that featured audience trumpets so ridiculous she asked for a reprise. The first encore, of “Edelweiss,” was another audience singalong that sounded so good it started a rumour that the Sound of Music cast was in the house. The three-song second encore ended on “My Song,” a new composition in which Slean noted that no matter what, she had her voice, and thank Christ for that.

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