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Norah Returns to the Living Room


“My name is Norah, and this is my band. We’re going to play songs from my new album.” With those few words Norah Jones kicked off a rehearsal last night before an audience jammed into The Living Room.  (Some were folks who’d come for my monthly On Your Radar showcase of emerging artists and stumbled onto this little surprise.) Why there? Probably because The Living Room (albeit the original location around the corner) was where she got her start. Why now? She’s headed to Austin for a SXSW showcase this weekend.  

Norah ran through the entire album, Little Broken Hearts, which was produced by Danger Mouse and is due out on May 1. It’s a collection of compact, sinuous songs, some of them a little dark and atmospheric, with a fair amount of reverb. A few of them, like “Happy Pills,” “Travellin’ On,” and “Out on the Road,” sound pretty radio friendly.

Norah played about half on piano (both electric and acoustic) and half on guitar. She didn’t say much, except to name check band members (Jason Roberts on guitar, Josh Lattanzi on bass, Pete Rem on keyboards, and Greg Wieczorek on drums).  At one point she said, “Oh, do I start this one? That’s what this gig is for.”

I hope it worked for her. It definitely worked for us. No New York date announced yet, but I’ll look forward to it.