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Hailing from Brunswick, Maine, Lady Lamb The Beekeeper (the stage name of Aly Spaltro) packs a hefty, emotional punch with her music. Whereas most bands like to fill up the studio with guitars, keyboards, drums, and other various instruments, our Lady Lamb likes to keep it simple. Armed with a beautiful Fender Jazzmaster, a classic TS-808 overdrive pedal, and a borrowed Fender Twin Reverb, she absolutely commanded the WERS studio with her slick guitar playing and her emotive and powerful voice.
She opened her set with “Between Two Trees”. Contrasting the song’s jangly, yet brooding, guitar riff (reminiscent of Johnny Marr) with a bluesy melody, she channeled the deep feelings of a scorned lover. “The more I love you, the less you give” she states, concluding with the statement of intent: “I will bury you between two trees”. The somber tone of the song paired up nicely with the bright and chiming guitar creating a lovely juxtaposition.
“Crane Your Neck” was the only preview we got of her forthcoming debut album, Ripely Pine. Originally featured on her Mammoth Swoon EP, “Crane Your Neck” was a nice slice of prog-pop in the from of a folk song. Bounding from one end of the spectrum to the other, the song’s chunky, upbeat guitar matched the first verses’s uplifting melody with the duo sounding like bonafide lead single material. The song quickly leaps into a slower section marked by Spaltro’s powerful and full voice; the “WOW” factor shot through the roof as she threw everything she had into her singing. Not even the roar of her distorted guitar could match the intensity and fervor that filled the room. And, with that, the song changed again into a catchy, bluesy groove, with Spaltro encouragingly singing “twist your hips, crane your neck”.
Finishing up with the very old song (she described it as one of the first she had ever written) “Milk Duds”, Lady Lamb left us hanging on to every note of this folkish song’s bright guitar chords and driving rhythm that sounded like contemporary The Tallest Man On Earth. Catchy and sweet, it was a nice guiding light out of the complicated emotions and the alternating happy/sad vibes the other tunes had, leading us into a simpler, sunshine-filled land.
Lady Lamb’s melodic and powerful songs can be traced back to when she was at the tender age of five. “I got really into the oldies… Roy Orbison, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Otis Redding, The Beatles… I’d make mix-tapes in my room of my favorite songs.” Following up with her high-school revelation in the form of Neutral Milk Hotel’s On Avery Island, The Fiery Furnaces, Saul Williams, and Of Montreal, she was quick to fall deep into a songwriting trance.
As previously mentioned, Lady Lamb The Beekeeper is on the verge of releasing her debut album, Ripely Pine, on February 19th. Accompanying the release will be a select few album release shows in the New England area, with shows at The Space Gallery in Portland, Maine and another at Cambridge’s TT The Bear’s. For the past few years, she has been getting her musical chops by supporting big name bands and musicians including the lovely Sharon Van Etten, the uplifting Beirut, and kindred spirit Kaki King. Promising both a solo set and one with a full backing band, this definitely isn’t a show you want to sleep on.