Hynde sang an effortless, heady mix of folk, jazz and rock – which draws the audience in with her great blues voice.
The Queens hall, Edinburgh, was the perfect size for a socially distance audience in the middle sitting at small round tables. Edinburgh was honoured to host one of the most popular female rock singers of our generation!
These acoustic concerts showcased songs from Hynde’s recent album: 'Standing In The Doorway’, Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan’ which was recorded in lockdown by Chrissie and her Pretender’s band mate, guitarist James Walbourne, by text message. James recorded on his phone and sent it off to Chrissie to add her vocal, before the tracks were mixed by renowned producer Tchad Blake.
Hynde was backed by her expert, high quality band enjoying themselves greatly! The Bob Dylan Quartet of James Walbourne guitarist of The Pogues and The Pretenders, Carwyn Ellis keyboards, Danny Williams double bass.
She opened with the song ‘In the Summer Time, Sweetheart like You, Don’t Fall apart on me Tonight, Every Grain of Sand, Time is a Jet Plane, Desolation Row, Tomorrow is a Long Time’ - Hynde’s song choices from Dylan’s extensive catalogue were unusual.
And included a brighter change of tempo with the songs - ‘You’re s Big Girl Now’ from Blood on the Tracks (1974); two songs from ‘Shot of Love’ (1981) from Dylan’s religious period, and three from the Infidels Sessions (1983); ‘Tomorrow is a Long Time’, a moving love song from the Freewheelin’ session(1963), and ‘Love Minus Zero/No Limit’ from Bringing It All Back Home (1965) .
A highlight was her insightful interpretation of Dylan’s ‘Blind Willie McTell’ backed by a wonderful interplay of instrumental lines. Her choice of a couple of Ray Davies of the Kinks, songs were also popular – ‘I go to Sleep’.
Later in the set she stood to perform which changed the vibe totally – and sang Stuck in the Middle, I get along without you, Crying in Public, For her encore Hydne performed the unexpected and expertly woven treasure the French song “Que reste-t-il de nos amours”, Chauliac-Trenet classic from her album Valve Bone Woe.
Her voice gives goose bumps and is instantly memorable and magnetically expressive, with the distinctive depth and range of her husky tones that hug her lower register. My favourite Chrissie song is I’ll stand by you and I might have wished she would have performed a few more favourites for us all to sing along to. How wonderful to be back in a live gig though!
**Hynde was well supported by the duo The Rails, Kami Thompson (daughter of Richard and Linda) and James Walbourne (guitarist with The Pretenders) previous winners of Best New Artist at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and I enjoyed their song, ‘Breakneck Speed.’
A companion film called 'Tomorrow Is A Long Time', which details the recording of the album, is also available via Sky Arts.