“This is Tarrytown! You wish you were here, but you can’t find it!” Melissa Etheridge joked at the end of her show while taking selfies with the audience. She was in high spirits at the historic Tarrytown Music Hall, nestled in the lower Hudson Valley, more famous for its proximity to Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow than for its rock concerts. Perhaps because it was the last show of a long tour, or because the audience was so passionate–they rushed the stage as soon as she appeared–Etheridge found herself right at home.
Etheridge’s tour has been in support of her latest album, Memphis Rock and Soul, released in October. It’s a collection of covers from the storied Stax catalog which Etheridge’s raspy powerhouse style fits perfectly. She dipped into some of these new old songs, showing off her own touches, having updated the Staple Singers’ “Respect Yourself” for the 21st century, and giving a knowing wink while singing “Tell her I’m happy / Tell her I’m gay” in William Bell’s “Any Other Way.”
She also didn’t shy away from her own impressive 30-year catalog of hits, from “Like the Way I Do” and “Bring Me Some Water” off her 1988 self-titled debut to “I’m the Only One” and “Come to My Window” from her career breakthrough Yes I Am. Etheridge also performed the title track to that album, reminding the audience a little self-affirmation is needed once in awhile. With men and women pressed to the stage and dancing in the aisles, Etheridge’s shows are a celebration of self — no affirmations needed.
Angels Would Fall
Any Other Way (William Bell)
I Wanna Come Over
Yes I Am
Respect Yourself (Staple Singers)
Born Under a Bad Sign (Albert King)
Come to My Window
Bring Me Some Water
I’m the Only One
Like the Way I Do