Murdoch featuring Janet LaValley
The Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge, MA 12/17/2022

Almost True

Craig and I have been fans of Janet LaValley since her days in the popular Boston band Tribe. We met in 1994 after being introduced on the band's e-mail newsletter, so Janet and Tribe always have a very special place in our hearts. Tribe broke up around that time, and Janet did aolo shows for a couple of years, but then we lost track of her. We were reconnected with Janet in 2015 when our friend Jared ransomly wound up in her studio for an art show. We corresponded with her and visited her art show the following tear.

We were very excited to hear that Janet was making new music early on in the pandemic with collaborator Don Kimenker. Their band is called Murdoch, and we eagerly awaited the release of various singles, and, eventually, an album called "Gone." There were several online listening parties and we got to virtually know Don, and were really looking forward to the day when we could see them play live.

Murdoch's music is moody and hypnotic, cerebral...the layering of guitar and vocals is haunting. They put together a touring band (Janet on vocals, Don on guitar, Lucinda Fisher on keys, Steve Iannettoni on drums, and Kevin McCarthy on bass) and did a few shows in 2022. Their Boston debut was delayed due to a band member having COVID, but by December, a show in Boston was finally happening!

We ran into Janet in the Middle East before the show, and she was, as always, super gracious. It was great to catch up with her. She had decorated two suitcases with LED lights and these held the "Murdoch Murch" that they had for sale.

Janet was in charge of the lights for the first opener, Gene Dante and the Future Starlets. Gene was great; he reminded us of a cross between David Bowie and Frank N. Furter. Next up were Lonely Leesa and the Lost Cowboys.

Then Murdoch hit the stage, with Gene Dante on lights. It was so great to see Janet onstage was hard to believe that it has been 25+ years since the last time we saw her perform in a club. She looked and sounded just like she did back then. The band was quite tight; you would never guess that they only rarely play live.

They played all but one of the songs from the "Gone" album, as well as a brand new song (!!) called "Over And Done", closing with a cover of the Raspberries' "Go All The Way."

Don came over to greet us when the show was over, and he was incredibly nice. It was great to finally meet him in person. We had a nice time chatting with him, and we spent some more time catching up with Janet. Janet and Don were both quite generous with their time, and it was a pleasure to spend time with both of them.

I got a couple of comments on the Tribe shirt I was wearing, as many in the audience were Janet fans from the Tribe days. It is so nice that Janet is making music and playing live again.

Set list:

Save The Day
Bad Dreaming
Almost True
Blessed Naive
Running Away
Over And Done
Blueberry Beer
Go All The Way (Raspberries Cover)

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