First of all, I have to give a great hand to the Birmingham Museum of Art. I drove down to Birmingham from Louisville with a friend on the day of the show and we didn't really know what to expect.
To those of you living in Birmingham, I don't know how you stand the humidity if it's like that every day. However, having a place to go like the museum probably makes up for it. Although I can't claim to know much about art, my friend, who is from Ireland, said that the museum is as good if not better than a lot of museums in Europe. Also, the food there was excellent. Where else are you going to get to see Tift and eat Banana's Foster?
I did take some pictures at the show, but as you may be able to tell, I am not the world's greatest photographer. There is a picture there of two of her fans who came in from Arkansas and were helping sell Home Is Loud CDs before and after the show. I did get an autographed copy of the CD after the show and had a chance to speak with Tift. Another brush with greatness!
The show was outside, and as I wrote, it was very humid. Fortunately, it cooled down a bit by the time the show started. Interestingly, the comedian Mo Rocka introduced Tift to the audience. Also, I believe there is a disc jockey who works in Birmingham that plays Tift's music on his show. He spoke at the end, but unfortunately I don't remember his name. I did want to pass on a thanks if he is responsible for getting Tift's music out on the air waves in Birmingham.
Update: It turns out that the DJ's name is Scott Register. You can check out his website at http://www.regscoffeehouse.com/.
Tift appeared with Sweet B Brad Rice. It would have been nice to see Jay Brown, Zeke Hutchins, and Danny Eisenberg with her too, but it was still a great show. I especially missed Tift singing Supposed to Make You Happy with Jay, but her voice still carried the song. It really is a special song.
Oh, almost forgot to mention that when they announced Tift, they noted that she came in from NY where she was doing a photo shoot for Vanity Fair about the women in country music. Check your newsstands.
It's difficult for me to estimate how big the crowd was. There were a number of chairs lined up in front of the stage, but there were also a large number of people standing up behind the chairs, on the sides, etc. I had the impression that for a lot of people in Birmingham, the Art on the Rocks shows are a social event. There's nothing wrong with that! They really put on a great show. The nice thing is that a lot of people came outside to hear Tift, and most of them stayed until the end. I am going to conservatively estimate that there were at least 1,000 fans outside listening.
Unfortunately I didn't get a set list, but I'll give you some highlights. I think that Tift did at least 3 new songs. I remember 3 songs, all on the keyboards, that I had not heard before. Of course, I liked them all, but I'm preaching to the choir, aren't I?
One of the new songs in particular stood out. A very upbeat tune she played on the keyboards. As you can tell, I need to take notes for the next show I go to. Also, I believe she did a song on the keyboards called Your Country? It was something similar to that. Hmm... I wonder what the title of the next album will be :).
As always, Supposed to Make You Happy was one of the songs that stood out. I had seen Tift twice before, but both times were with her band. This time, she had to rely more on her voice I think, and her voice really stood out.
At the very end, she did what I guess would be called a gospel song, and I'm going to guess that the title is Sleigh. Has anyone heard her do a song with the word sleigh in it before? Great, great song. She had a lot of people who had been sitting standing and clapping to the beat. Would love to hear her do that one again.
That's it! This is my first show review, but I'll do better when I see her next time at the Tall Stacks Festival in Cincinnati, OH on October 6th.
If you have any pictures you'd like to post, or feel like submitting a show review, please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org). For the fans who can't make it to her shows, I think it's always nice to see some pictures and hear what happened.