LIVE: Luka Bloom @ Caffe Lena, 6/16

I find it oh so sad and curious that a fine songwriter like Ireland’s Luka Bloom is still best known to a very large segment of the American general public for his acoustic folk-rap version of LL Cool J’s “I Need Love.”

(Of course, Karla Bonoff finds herself in the same predicament – a stellar songwriter whose only hit was “Personally,” a song she didn’t write. Anybody got any other examples?)

Bloom has recorded quite a few cover tunes over the course of his 20-year career, including 2000’s “Keeper of the Flame,” a dazzling all-covers album that finds the Irish tunesmith reaching into the songbags of Radiohead, Bob Marley, Hunters & Collectors, Robbie Robertson, the Cure, Nina Simone, ABBA and more.

Luka Bloom at Caffe Lena (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)
Luka Bloom at Caffe Lena (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

In front of an adoring sold-out crowd at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs on Tuesday, Bloom slipped only two covers into his 21-song set – a simple, seductive rendition of Dylan’s “To Make You Feel My Love” and a rousing sing-along version of the Waterboys’ “Sunny Sailor Boy.”

You can read my review in the Times Union.

Quote of the night:
“I thought this gig was sold-out. In Ireland, they would have managed to squeeze another 150 people in here.”

And here’s the full setlist:

I Am Not at War
I Love the World I’m In
See You Soon
City of Chicago
No Matter Where You Go, There You Are
Eastbound Train
To Make You Feel My Love
Peace on Earth
Dreams in America
Gone to Pablo
Rainbow Day
I’m on Your Side
Sunny Sailor Boy
You Couldn’t Have Come at the Better Time
The Acoustic Motorbike
Don’t Be Afraid of the Light That Shines Within You
Cold Comfort

  1. HojoHiFive says

    The Gourds- Gin and Juice

  2. Greg says

    Good one, Hojo. Yeah, another rap-to-roots transformation…

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