James Goldsmith and Beth Aigner
Everyone can relate to a broken heart. Few artists can articulate the feeling of a broken heart better than Spain. There really should be a label on their debut release The Blue Moods of Spain warning that listening to the album may cause distressing emotional disturbances.
Fronted by Josh Hayden, son of former jazz legend Charlie Hayden, Spain mixes elements of jazz and blues to create a dark, smokey backdrop for Hayden's hauntingly tragic voice. His voice resonates in the soul days after hearing it. Hayden's voice also has a very soothing quality, as if to console his heart's pain.
Spain brought their songs of love unfullfilled, love broken, and love tarnished to Moe's Monday for an early evening performance. While the crowd was sparse, the few who did show up for the 8 p.m. show were emotionaly touched by the performance. They called Spain back for a second encore, but were forced to leave by Moe's security so the club could prepare for the Monday dance night.
It was a shame that Spain wasn't allowed the time to play longer than the 40 minutes allotted. Although they did throw in "Untitled #1" from The Blue Moods of Spain and the amazing Willie Nelson cover "Ain't It Funny How Time Slips Away" from a seven-inch they released a few months ago, they excluded the most emotionally moving song on their album, "Spiritual."
In Moe's large, impersonal open room, the music lost some of its intimacy. Spain's music would have fit much better in the laid-back atmosphere of a club like the Backstage, where people could sit back at their table and take in the blue moods of Spain.