Tal Wilkenfeld has been at home on big stages since the tender age of 20. However, Tal opted for intimate shows in Los Angeles and New York to debut her new album, Love Remains, ahead of its official release on March 15th. Following her appearance at LA’s Moroccan Lounge late last month, Tal’s March 5th show at New York’s Mercury Lounge quickly sold out, and last night’s March 4 show was added.
The tiny space was packed and the anticipation high as Tal and crew were led through the crowd to the stage. Opening for Tal was friend and former New York roommate Becca Stevens, whose set on guitar and charango (a ten-string South American ukulele) was met with a warm reception.
Tal is no longer the ingenue reluctant to take her place alongside the greats such as Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Herbie Hancock, Prince, and Bob Weir, with whom she has played. Opening with “Killing Me”, the advance single from Love Remains, Tal immediately declared she is an artist to be reckoned with. In addition to her prodigious talent on bass, Tal’s vocals were alternatingly forceful and tender, her compositions heartfelt and mature. Bittersweet songs such as “One Thing After Another” and “Pieces of Me” showcased her range as a songwriter and vocalist while “Fistful of Glass” and “Corner Painter” (previously released as a single and included on Love Remains) had the crowd rocking.
Whether in the studio or performing live, Tal attracts A-list talent. Jackson Browne served as executive producer of the new album, with guest appearances by keyboardists Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) and Zac Rae (Death Cab for Cutie) along with Alabama Shakes guitarist Blake Mills. Her touring band was equally impressive and deserves a major shoutout: Owen Barry on guitar (and on bass when Tal played acoustic guitar), Tamir Barzilay on drums and Chris Price on keyboards.
Tal was clearly enjoying herself, feeding off the intimacy of the room and the energy of her fans. “You guys are so much better than the audience in LA,” she said, “you make me want to move back to New York.” We’d love to have you, Tal.
You can check out a gallery of photos from the performance below via photographer Lou Montesano/Still Rock Photos.
For a list of Tal Wilkenfeld’s upcoming performances, head to her website here.