‘FolkZinger’ Christine Lavin returned to Me&Thee

Me&Thee Music kicked off its 54th season with a one-night-only performance from folk singer Christine Lavin on Sept. 8.  Known for her catchy ballads based on personal experiences and for her comedic commentary, the so-called “folkZinger” performed songs from her 25th solo album “On My Way to Hooterville,” as well as classic older tracks such as “If You’re Drunk You Cannot Buy a Puppy,” for an enthusiastic audience of fans new and old. 

Lavin has played at Me&Thee multiple times in her long career, though as she put it, “Who’s counting?” Since releasing her first album in 1981, Lavin has toured all over the world and collaborated with many other folk artists. Despite hailing from New York, Lavin turned to the Boston area to get started as a musician, thanks to the appreciation for folk music on the radio here. She has toured the Boston area extensively.

Christine Lavin sings for a captivated audience at the Me&Thee. Coffeehouse COURTESY PHOTOS / CLIFF GARBER

The night kicked off with a performance of “Remembering My Password(s),” a rhyming retelling of the dawn of the digital age and Lavin’s relatable struggle to find a secure password for her various online accounts. Despite openly revealing to the audience some of the passwords that she still uses today, Lavin was confident that no one would be able to hear them over the laughter. From there, Lavin dove into a setlist full of stories told through songs inspired by everything from her personal life to absurdly funny scraps of dialogue morphed into entire sagas. 

What stands out about Lavin is her friendliness and penchant for audience participation, enabling the crowd to get involved in the show and have special stories to take home. For example, for her satirical song about a mother and her rebellious teenage daughter, Lavin asked for any mothers in the crowd to volunteer their name and the name of their daughter to make the story a little more personal. The result was the highly entertaining “Sometimes Mother Really Does Know Best,” starring Linette and Hannah, which ended with the audience deciding with their applause whether Linette and Hannah should settle their differences and make up, or both die a gruesome death. Unfortunately for Linette and Hannah, the people of Marblehead wanted blood.  

When intermission rolled around, Lavin set up shop in the hallway, teaching audience members how to fold napkins “Downton Abbey style,” proving herself a woman of many talents. During the second act Lavin invited fans up onto the stage to share in the spotlight and have some fun. 

Christine Lavin invites fans and other musicians up onto the stage to sing along.

After Marblehead, Lavin will head to Newton and then to Waterloo, New York, though she confessed that she’s been in the business for so long she rarely keeps track of her gigs. In addition to her 26th album, Lavin is currently collaborating with many other artists she has come across over the years on a very special song compilation, the details of which have yet to be announced on her website.

As one of the longest-running folk music venues on the North Shore, the Me&Thee receives famous visitors such as Lavin frequently. Its upcoming fall roster includes performances from Jon Pousette Dart with Jim Chapdelaine; Catie Curtis and Wangari Fahari Trio. 

Seating is always first come, first serve, refreshments and snacks are offered, and tickets are available at meandthee.org. 

Benji Boyd
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