MUSIC | Chastity Brown mesmerizes at First Ave

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Trudging down 7th Street and someone calls my name. Turn around, and this gorgeous young woman is racing up to me with a thousand-watt smile. Takes a second before it registers. That ain’t no ordinary gorgeous young woman, it’s Chastity Brown! She’s glad I came to catch her play at First Avenue. I appreciate her appreciation. Then, I turn and head into the club while she returns to whichever door she popped out of. Inside, peeking behind that giant movie screen they use for a curtain, I’m happy as a pig in slop with a great big grin plastered all over my face, watching her have last minute words with her band before the show goes up.

Chastity Brown mesmerized the packed house, a soul balladeer of the first order. She tore through an exhilarating set taken from her new album High Noon Teeth, backed by Schultz, Michael X. (drums), Adam Wozniak (bass), and Robert Mulrenan (resonator, electric guitar).

One thing happened that still has me scratching my head. Backup vocalist Nikki Schultz, in the middle of I forget which number, grabbed and spent some time tuning an acoustic guitar. Which, I unless I missed something, nobody wound up playing (considering I was doing double-Jack-rocks, it’s entirely possible I missed something). I was hoping Brown would do “Lose Ya Now” and “From My Old,” but I ain’t complaining. She closed with “Strong Enough,” and that was a perfect description of her set, ’cause Chastity Brown and company were strong as sulfuric acid. Also on the bill were Total Babe and headliner Jeremy Messersmith (she thanked him for having her in the line-up). Both acts may well have been very good, but completely stocked, I was perfectly content to call it a night, go home, put High Noon Teeth on the box, pour me a round and pet my cats.

Chastity Brown is at the Kitty Cat Club, 315 14th Av. S.E. in Minneapolis (Dinkytown area) on October 16th at 9 p.m.