Music Park: I’m With Her @ 9:30 Club — 3/13/18

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I’m With Her perform at 9:30 Club on March 13, 2018. (Photo by Parklife DC)

An Americana supergroup? Surely, the term “supergroup” is reserved for the likes of classic jam bands and motley metalheads? But yes, Americana trio I’m With Her certainly took its place among the pantheon of supergroups in a sold-out show at 9:30 Club recently.

On March 13, Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan, took the stage at 9:30 Club for a 75-minute set featuring songs from their debut full-length album, See You Around, released just over a month ago on Rounder Records. I’m With Her began the show with the album’s title track and finished with the record’s strongest track, “Overland,” followed by a cover of John Hiatt’s “Crossing Muddy Waters,” which they previously released on EP.

Sara played bass on one number, but the set was otherwise entirely acoustic. The three ladies took turns on lead vocals — and seeing them live, I was able to identify who sang lead on each song. Sara, who is so multitalented as to have toured with The Decemberists as a percussionist, played fiddle, guitar, bass, and ukulele over the course of the performance. While her musicianship is impressive, remember that despite her relatively young age, she has nearly 30 years of professional experience, having formed Nickel Creek with her brother and Chris Thile when she was only 8 years old.

The crowd that came out Tuesday night differed from the typical audience at the 9:30 Club. This was not unexpected, as the audience for folk/acoustic acts usually skews a little older than those for breakout indie rock bands. The club was packed with serious fans steeped in the vocabulary of folk and Americana.

Before the show, I chatted with a middle-aged couple about last year’s American Acoustic Tour at Wolf Trap (where we’d seen I’m With Her), as well as our mutual appreciation of Rodney Crowell and Roseanne Cash. Such happy occurrences seem very much the stock-in-trade of I’m With Her, which formed by happenstance after an off-the-cuff performance during the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 2014.

Well, the crowd may have been different but they surely brought the energy for which 9:30 Club is famous. The audience was highly enthusiastic, even raucous, whistling at the singer-songwriters and shouting declarations of their love. The band seemed surprised and flattered to be met with this level of excitement at a midweek show, and they seemed to genuinely enjoy performing for a live crowd. An Americana supergroup indeed!

I’m With Her tour around the US southwest throughout April and go to Europe in May! Catch them for truly delightful evening. Here are some pictures of I’m With Her performing at 9:30 Club on March 13, 2018.

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