Tuesday’s set, which included two unrecorded numbers and the Everly Brothers’ “Bird Dog,” bumped up the tempo on a few of the recorded versions, Fisher improvised a mantra of pain, and even found a slight Caribbean lilt in a solo or two. That they ended on a mid-tempo note might not have won over the bulk of the crowd there to see Walsh. That they did it a cappella was a winning statement.
At the core of the Hearts’ sound is a comforting smoothness, backbeats and harmonies that date back to the Everlys, coupled with slightly twangy guitar that veers into jazz and rockabilly. The San Francisco-based quartet goes deep into the comfort zone of anyone who cherishes a rural essence within pop craftsmanship — their songs are loaded with images of love and longing, holding out hope and the lack of rapprochement in a relationship.
The Big Blue Hearts are likely to wind up opening a few weeks of shows for Walsh before winging overseas for two-week residencies in Madrid, Moscow and Paris. As assured as they have become since their club days up north, the overseas gigs can only help to solidify their impressive yet developing stage personality.