Timms had a five-piece band playing behind her, with a delicate mix of banjo, mandolin, guitar, stand-up bass, clarinet, trumpet and drums, for a folky yet slightly jazzy sound. She played songs by her pal (and fellow Mekon) Jon Langford and others… even a cool version of the Mekons song “Corporal Chalkie.” And, as always, she had a delightfully wry and self-deprecating sense of humor.
She was the opening act for Chris Mills, which reminds me…
Hey, Chris Mills: Could you move back to Chicago? OK, I’m sure you have your reasons for being in New York, but you’re such a good singer-songwriter that I’d love to continue claiming you as one of Chicago’s best. Maybe I’ll continue claiming you anyway.
Mills was back in town for a one-off solo gig because he had a wedding to attend. (He played “In the Time of Cholera” at the wedding ceremony, apparently getting some puzzled looks from people unfamiliar with his music who saw that title in the program.) Mills is probably at his best when he has a full band playing him — one of the best things about this CDs is the lush and creative arrangements — but his songs also work really well as solo acoustic numbers. And that’s what he delivered Sunday night, singing in full-throated gusto.