LIVE: Jenni Lyn @ the Cock ‘n Bull, 7/31/17

September 6th, 2017, 4:00 pm by Greg

Review by Bokonon

Jenni Lyn. Mandolin. They almost rhyme, and that’s just right. Della Mae co-founder Jenni Lyn Gardner is a mighty mandolin player, with a strong right hand that matches Bill Monroe’s Johnny Ramone downstroke with Chris Thile’s supple, sinuous cross-picking.

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Gardner’s skills were on full display recently at Galway’s The Cock ‘n Bull, which has, in recent years, become a prime musical destination, as well as a Saratoga County culinary mainstay.

On the barn stage, Gardner — who performs simply as Jenni Lyn – led a crack live quartet featuring the amazing banjoist Ryan Cavanaugh, young guitarist Harry Clark and bassist Mike Gaisbacher. She is currently on tour behind a debut disc, Burn Another Candle, and the group flew through a strong selection from it.

Album highlights included the gospel tinge of Jim Lauderdale’s “Can We Find Forgiveness,” “Stronger” (with its trading eights solos), “Only Turned You Down” by Lake Street Dive’s Bridget Kearney and the pop-inflected “Are You Okay Alone?”

On the plentiful covers side, Gardner showed her roots with a mix of classic tunes, ranging from Jimmy Martin’s “You Don’t Know My Mind” and Monroe’s “Shenandoah Valley Breakdown,” to a great pairing of “Wild Bill Jones” and “Reuben’s Train,” taking care of the “required murder ballad and train song” in one fell swoop.

Gardner’s best number, the ersatz title track “Burn Another Candle at Both Ends,” features what can only be described as a Berklee groove – a skittering thump as contemporary as can be, yet informed with plenty of history. The twisting funk of the knotty instrumental hook passed around the band, from Cavanaugh’s banjo to Clark’s guitar, sometimes twining, other times flying off into further variations. As a set piece, it showed how capable this crew is; as a work of art, it promises good things for millennial roots music.

Lyn again nodded to the past with her closing number, a bittersweet, yearning take of Dolly Parton’s “Those Memories of You.”

JENNI LYN’S SET LIST
Rollin’ in my Sweet Baby’s Arms
Are You OK Alone?
Hickory Holler
Stronger
Shenandoah Valley Breakdown
Can We Find Forgiveness
Only Turned You Down
Wild Bill Jones
Reuben’s Train
Burn Another Candle
You Don’t Love Me (Like You Use To)
Drivin’ Nails in My Coffin
You Don’t Know My Mind
Lazy John
Long, Long Gone
Nine Pound Hammer
Sleep With One Eye Open
Those Memories of You
ENCORE
Some Dark Holler

UPCOMING: Next up on the Cock ‘n Bull’s concert calendar are the Foghorn Stringband at 7pm tonight (Wednesday, September 6) and 10 String Symphony at 7pm on Wednesday, September 13.