Coyote Grace, left to right: Michael Connolly, Ingrid Elizabeth and Joe Stevens.
I first learned about Coyote Grace last summer, when they were part of a recording done by Eric Himan and several other LGBT artists, singing Patty Griffin's Tony in a hotel room, showing their support of LGBT Youth. I poked around to find out more about the band, and checked out their music. I really enjoyed it, so when I saw that they were opening for Eric at the World Cafe Live! in Philadelphia, I was so very excited. That was well served, as they are immensely talented, and showed it from the first song to the last. I love the feel of the music, which has a Mumford-&-Sons-meets-Tin-Pan-Alley flair that blossoms for the entire set. Their performance captured the folk-roots feel, imbued with the natural soul, humor and life of the artists. A fine example of that was their second song, a cover of Bruce Springsteen's I'm On Fire. It is sung beautifully by Ingrid.
Ingrid Elizabeth and Joe Stevens were the original members of Coyote Grace. They grew to be a trio, adding Michael Connolly, a talented musician. Throughout the evening we learn more about the band during their intimate show, from the trials and travails of life on the road, to insights into the lives of the people on stage.
One of the things we learned was how personal much of their music is. As part of the intro for A Guy Named Joe, Stevens talked about the very personal journey that inspired the song, that of a transman,giving the song an added poignancy.
During the intro to Heaven Dog, both Joe & Ingrid included us in the discussion when it touched on the issues of addiction, and the difficulties that could bring on the road. And they managed it with charm and humor, while not detracting from the great song.
Before ending the show with the gospel song, Hallelujah, Ingrid explained that it was a song the group had 'on loan' from the group Ma Muse. I am sure Coyote Grace made it their own, but the went even a step further, and made it very special by inviting Eric Himan and Tylan Greenstein (of the group Girlyman) to join them for the song, making for a wonderful and joyous song.
For more about the band, check out their official website here. For a copy of their latest album, Ear To The Ground, you can find it on iTunes here, Amazon here, and CD Baby here. Buy it, or one of their other albums, and you will not be disappointed.