Promoters billed it as a concert to promote a new album. But for the 300+ people at City Winery's concert hall in Atlanta, the cozy performance by Grammy Award-nominee Vanessa Carlton could easily be described as an extended family reunion.
Seated behind a piano, Carlton regaled the capacity crowd with songs and stories -- particularly stories about her grandfather, whose presence was felt throughout the performance in the form of an oil painting crafted by him that loomed large on stage.
The assembly of Vanessa Carlton enthusiasts, which was settled in the shadow of large wooden casks containing chardonnay and other wines, came near and far to see Carlton tickle the ivory keys. Rob Taylor and Cathy Chisholm journeyed from Charleston, South Carolina just to hear their favorite artist play. Another ticketholder said she caught a red-eye flight back to Atlanta from San Diego for Saturday night's show.
Lines began forming at 6PM for 8 o'clock event that opened with violinist Skye Steele Illinois-native singer-songwriter Tristen
Carlton's set started shortly after 9PM with the tune that made her famous, "A Thousand Miles." The 2002 Billboard Music Award nominee was joined on stage by violinist Skye Steele whose strings added extra character to Carlton's greatest hits.
Spanning an hour, the program featured eight songs from Carlton's previous work and some new music, "Love is an Art." Carlton prefaced each musical selection with a story about the song itself, which delighted the mostly female audience.
Carlton's husband, Deer Tick band member John McCauley, even had a song dedicated to him during the show, underscoring the familial nature of the entire event.
The Milford, Pennsylvania-native's Atlanta show was part of a multicity tour, promoting "Earlier Things Live," the fifth studio album by Carlton.
"Earlier Things Live," is a collection of live versions of Vanessa's earlier work and includes fan favorites such as the Grammy nominated "A Thousand Miles" and "White Houses." Additionally, there is a special duet with husband John McCauley of the Deer Tick Song "In Our Time."