On this lovely CD, Lower Mill Road, Gwendolyn’s songwriting and arranging style recall the Incredible String Band, those Scottish psych folk legends of yore.
I attended her CD release party on August 7, 2007, at The Bordello, declared by City Search to be the second most “in-crowd” bar in Los Angeles. It’s in a former Mexican restaurant in an industrial area just east of downtown. When you call, the voice mail purrs, “This is the Madam at the Bordello…”
An interior wall of the Bordello, at the back of the stage. Someone had a ball decorating this bar in a sort of baroque goth style. It’s got red walls with black wainscotting and devil masks, and rows of black glittering chandeliers with red lights on the ceiling, and one room with Victorian sofas and a large nineteenth century oil painting of a reclining nude. The lighting was so low that I couldn’t quite photograph the decor without a flash, which would have spoiled it.
My dear friend Brooke Alberts, who plays recorders and pennywhistle in traditional Irish ensembles, performed with Gwendolyn’s band.
And what a band it was! Besides Gwendolyn on vocal and guitar and Brooke on woodwinds, I espied Robert Petersen on upright bass, a harpist who doubled on accordion, Douglas Lee on glass harmonica and occasionally jew’s harp, a violinist/mandolinist, and Gwendolyn’s husband Brandon Jay (behind her, so not visible in this photo) playing drums and found percussion.
On my way back to the freeway, I drove past the dragon gate to LA’s Chinatown.