By Adam McGrath
Wednesday night at Ortlieb’s, the Philly music community came out in force as a dozen different acts put their spin on a track from Nirvana’s Nevermind album, which celebrates its 25th anniversary on September 24. This was night two of the tribute, as a completely different lineup played a similar show at Sunnyvale in Brooklyn on Tuesday. Each group also performed an original song to accompany their cover.
Highlights of the evening included a bluegrass version of ‘In Bloom’ from Rare Spirits, an authentically grungy rendering of ‘Breed’ from The Retinas, and a very creative electro-sax interpretation of ‘Lithium’ by Johnny Butler, which featured a partial loop of the original guitar track. Very inventive stuff.
Presented by Brookladelphia, a multi-city live events series that links musicians, artists, writers and filmmakers, and the Philadelphia Folksong Society, of which several of the performers are members, the Nevermind tribute is indicative of the former organization’s bread and butter, using anniversaries of classic albums as a way to bring together passionate and promising local acts. In fact, the genesis of Brookladelphia stemmed from a tribute to Patsy Cline & Willie Nelson, and the idea took off from there.
This evening’s tribute was hosted by Dani Mari, Will Hanza, and Rev. TJ McGlinchey, who truly embody the community spirit of the series. Mari and Hanza perform as Owl and Wolf, and she also joins McGlinchey in the group Lovers League.
The next Brookladelphia event is September 23 at Connie’s Ric Rac, where a fresh crop of musicians take on Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Visit www.brookladelphiamusic.com for more info on upcoming shows.