Erica Jacob ably demonstrated that every Extraordinary Woman has multiple layers, via her performance at Manhattan’s Hourglass Tavern on Sunday evening, September 15, 2013. On this second stop of her promotional tour—following the August release of debut full-length album “Extraordinary Woman” on Young Pals Music—the singer/songwriter delivered a powerful acoustic set that showcased a stripped-down version of the album’s full-on pop, R&B and dance production.
At Jacob’s album release party in August at the East Village’s Penny Farthing, she captivated a standing-room-only crowd of 150+ followers. On this night, the vibe was a creative change of pace at intimate Midtown performance space Hourglass Tavern—which has been a beloved showcase space for burgeoning talent and Broadway actors & singers for more than 30 years. And once again, she packed the comfy setting to capacity—with an approving roar that was as enthused as the previous venue.
The beauty of Jacob’s set at Hourglass was an opportunity for the singer to demonstrate her god-given vocal prowess unvarnished with the (appreciable) mainstream-driven production on her album. She sang alongside an organic four-piece ensemble— Tom Gallaher on piano, Jade Zabric on guitar, Daniel Jamieson on sax and flute and Nezih Antakli on percussion. How many of today’s commercially successful pop stars would dare to put themselves in such a position, right?
The acoustic set included a spirited new take on first single “Run,” and wondrously emotive re-rubs of ballads “Too Many Reasons” and “Falling”—proving Jacob’s stance as a diva with all the savvy of Jennifer Hudson—along with scintillating new arrangements of album cuts “Lost and Found,” “Kryptonite” and “Look What You’ve Done.” She also delivered a velvet-lined, sirenic version of Chaka Khan’s “Through The Fire” and a lush, easy-flowing reading of Eva Cassidy’s “I Can Only Be Me,” written by Steve Wonder. Two words: Damn, girl!
With each step forward, Erica Jacob proves that she is a talent as immeasurable as the fervor that pervades New York City—with a passionate and demonstrative voice that is as capable of reaching the high heavens as the Empire State Building.