An awesome antipodal appearance from Stella Donnelly, whose Beware Of The Dogs debut just came out via Secretly Canadian. The Perth-based singer/songwriter made her Philly debut at Johnny Brenda’s with a set that was half solo, half with a full band, and wholly charming, thoughtful and tuneful. Some of my favorites were “Boys Will Be Boys,” “Mechanical Bull,” “Die,” “U Owe Me” and “Season’s Greetings.”
Secretly Canadian labelmate Faye Webster—with Matt “Pistol” Stoessel—opened with gentle, at times almost meditative, guitar and pedal steel that wasn’t quite country, folk, rock or pop. The highlight was Webster’s cover of Father’s “Cheap Thrills” that honored the original’s hip-hop spirit while sounding cut from the same cloth as her own songs.
—words by M.J. Fine; photos by Chris Sikich