Kristin Hersh - guitar, vocals
Opening with her trademark song, "A Loon," singer/songwriter, Kristin Hersh, best known for her work as a member of Throwing Muses, returns to the Tin Angel, Philadelphia's legendary club. Hersh played the club as a solo artist a number of times, and this show is very similar to the performance she gave there just one year prior (also available here at Wolfgang's Vault). Armed with only her voice and an acoustic guitar, Hersh belted out her repertoire of angst-ridden songs and declarations of love, much to the delight of her loyal audience.
"Your Dirty Answer," "Hysterical Bending," "Caffeine," and "Summer Salt" stand out in this collection of nearly two dozen songs from both her solo LPs and her albums with Throwing Muses. She dips into Muses' catalog a number of times, performing "Freeloader" (from 2003's Limbo LP), "Soap And Water" (from the band's House Tornado LP), "Pearl" (from the Red Heaven album), and "Red Shoes," which first appeared on Throwing Muses Vol 1. "Your Ghost," closes the show. That was her biggest radio hit (and recorded as a duet with R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe) from her first solo album, 1994's Hips & Makers.
The acclaimed singer/songwriter, who first burst onto the alternative music scene in the mid-1980s with Throwing Muses, made a strong impact with music fans and critics alike with metaphor-driven songs that speak to both women and men in a very direct way.
Hersh was born in 1966 and raised in Newport, Rhode Island, not far from the legendary Jazz and Folk Festival locale. She came from a progressive family that exposed her to a wide spectrum of music at a very early age, ranging from the rural country sounds of the Carter Family and blues icon Robert Johnson to the pop/funk of Stevie Wonder and the universal rock of the Beatles. By the time the early NY punk scene hit in the '70s, her parents were exposing her to acts like the Ramones and Patti Smith Group. In 1981, she formed Throwing Muses with her stepsister Tanya Donelly and some high school friends. In 1986, the alternative punk band was signed to 4AD Records in the U.K., which led to a U.S. deal with SIRE/Reprise in 1987. By 1994, she began her solo career while still fronting the Muses.
She spent most of the 1990s trying to break gender-role confinements, and in 2004 she formed a third project, a hardcore punk power trio called 50 Foot Wave. She continues to tour and record today.