Andy at Otto’s

Andy Shernoff at Otto's Shrunken Head

Andy Shernoff’s Song Workshop is in the middle of a month-long residency at Otto’s Shrunken Head on 14th Street in NYC. We caught the set last Wednesday.

These gigs are rare chances to peek behind the songwriter’s curtain, and witness songs as they are being brought to life. The musicians barely know the tunes — experiments are made, risks taken, mistakes shrugged off. It’s endearing to hear the material in this manner, and it’s a unique experience for the audience.

This was the first time I’ve noticed just how amazing Brian Hurd and Tricia Scotti truly are, and how they are both perfectly suited for their supporting roles. They both display musical intuition that sometimes borders on the telepathic. Brian, who’s rocking the largest set of mutton chops since the heyday of Andre the Giant, never overplays, and always supplies what the song needs. Sometimes it’s a wailing solo, sometimes a background fill, but he’s always spot on and soulful. And Mother of God, what a voice on Tricia Scotti. It is a wonder of nature. I would pay to hear her sing the phone book.

Three of the night’s tunes were new to these ears, and all were memorable. “I Just Want To Save Your Soul” is almost spiritual in tone, while “I Know a Song To Save Your Life” has a Paul McCartney vibe (the GOOD Macca, not the “Just Another Day” Macca). “I Cried Love” was the best of the newbies, with a simple, soothing feel that is reminiscent of “Stay With Me” while sounding nothing like that classic.

The Otto’s residency wraps up tomorrow. There are more shows coming in Queens, and another soon at Café Nine in New Haven. There will be lots of Shernoff to go around in 2013.


The set, and keep in mind some of these are so new that their titles are approximate:

1.  Find Something Beautiful
2.  Rapture

3.  I Just Want To Save Your Soul

4.  Laugh and Walk Away

5.  Born Hungry
6.  I Know a Song To Save Your Life

7.  I Cried Love

8.  You’re Never Gonna See Me Cry
9.   Let’s Put the Band Back Together

10.  Who Will Save Rock + Roll

11.   Get On Your Knees for Jesus
12.   Baby Let’s Twist

— Salvi C.

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