Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lina Koutrakos Shatters The House With Rockin' Rollick At Joe's Pub

Lina Koutrakos kicked some serious sonic butt in her return to the New York stage before a packed house at Joe's Pub, Friday the 13th(!). The set list included enough new material to make me stomp my feet and say, "New album, baby!" I laughed, I cried, I howled from the depths of my soul. In other words: real good shit.

Among all the artists I've seen over the past 15 years, Lina gets top billing as the one I have witnessed the most... more than Celine Dion, even more than Sheena Easton... from her residence in the mid-1990s at the Bottom Line to shows at Cutting Room, Fez, Iridium, Shine, Metropolitan Room and what remains her biggest—a sold-out crowd at B.B. King in 2005, where I had the pleasure of introducing her to the room.

I've also had the opportunity to review her singles and shows in Billboard, earning a "lifetime pass" to her gigs. That's sure better than all the Rice-A-Roni I could eat until I die, huh?

Through the years, Lina has certainly evolved, but one thing remains entrenched: She is a star, in her element on the stage, a master singer, songwriter and entertainer. She makes her audience feel at ease, confident and convinced that they're part of something truly special. I've said it before in many ways: Why does the world know Miley Cyrus, but not Lina Koutrakos?

Then again, considering that Lina is performing in Paris next month, perhaps I underestimate... but whether or not she's sold a million albums, Lina Koutrakos remains a world-class talent.

"Yes, Lina, I am absolutely convinced that world peace is a possibility in our time..."