A refreshingly unreconstructed folkie, Texas singer/songwriter Sara Hickman shows no obvious desire to move to Nashville and start calling herself “country” in search of the Big Bucks.
After a couple of albums on Elektra Records, she’s now on Discovery, Santa Monica-based label headed by Elektra founder Jac Holzman.
A folkie she may be, but a post-British Invasion folkie, who often strums her guitar with the power and inflections of Pete Townshend, occasionally affects Beatles-style melodies, and who ended her second-set closer “Radiation Man” with a quote from the Beatles’ version of “Twist and Shout.”
Generally speaking, Hickman’s original songs are well-wrought and intelligent , if sometimes a bit too obtuse and/or meandering for easy mass consumption.
Exceptions were many, though, including the appealing, pseudo-stream-of-consciousness “Shortstop,” and the yet-unrecorded “Moment of Grace” (for which she was joined during the first set by slide guitarist Doug Hamlin). While both shows included most of the same numbers, the second set was looser.
Like any good folkie, the singer chatted easily with the audience, explaining songs that needed explaining, dealing efficiently with a small child and flirting shamelessly with an unattached male fan.