Margaret Glaspy is a rapidly rising star. She has been featured in some of the most high profile publications imaginable — The New Yorker, New York Times, NPR — and she deserves it. As the youngest in a family of musicians living in northern California, Glaspy learned to play the fiddle, but eventually abandoned it for the guitar, but not without retaining that bluesy folk-rock influence. Her headlining show at the Bootleg last Saturday proved she is a well-rounded artist, with a talent that won’t soon be extinguished.
A packed house welcomed Franky Flowers, a local trio comprised of high school students. Yes, they may be very young, but they are a talented crew. Their set was all noise all night, typically plowing through their set without even waiting for applause. Not that they needed it; these three shone with confidence, likely gained from performing at various festivals, SXSW, and even having their own residency at the Echo last month. Most notably, their drummer, Ellington Peet, kicked serious ass, solidifying this high school rock group as something much more.
The next trio to step onstage included the headliner herself, Margaret Glaspy. Her two bandmates were the same who accompanied her on the studio recording, so you can imagine how well they played together. The night began with “Emotions and Math,” the title track from Glaspy’s debut album, out now on ATO Records. “Tonight we’re gonna play the record all the way through, with a few gifts thrown in as well,” Glaspy told us, setting the scene for the night. They played a couple more tracks from the new record, then her bandmates disappeared, leaving Glaspy to perform an intimate performance with only a guitar and her delightful personality.
And this is where the aforementioned “gifts” come into play. She took this opportunity to play several stripped back tracks that appear on her new record, showcasing her gorgeous gravelly voice and easily accessible songwriting, but also introduced some covers that each meant something special. Glaspy played a Lucinda Williams track that I am ashamed to admit I don’t remember the title of- she even told us it would be our homework to listen to the original, but I suppose I’m just a bad student. She also covered Lauryn Hill’s “Ex Factor,” which was unexpected but not unbelievable, given its significance in Glaspy’s childhood.
For her final hurrah, Glaspy ran out onstage for an encore that perhaps even she wasn’t expecting to play, as she expressed unending gratitude to us for coming out and staying until the end. Our last treat from Margaret Glaspy was her cover of “Harvest Moon,” a wonderful end to a beautiful night of music and camaraderie.
Words: Zoë Elaine
Photography: Manuel Dominguez