Live Review: Maureen Toth

The Hotel Café Hollywood, CA 

Web: maureentoth.com

Contact: [email protected]

Players: Maureen Toth, vocals, guitar; Carlos Calvo, guitar, vocals; Dave Sutton, bass, 

Marc Slutsky, drums

Material: Maureen Toth is a singer-songwriter whose music is upbeat, but dark at the same time. The tunes have a sadness about them that seem to reach for the soul, regardless of the theme of the song. Toth writes about everything in life, including an owl that she became attached to, disappeared and is now entrenched in a song (“Owl”) to be remembered forever. Country-ish at times, bluesy at others, Toth seems to bring out the beauty in any subject, no matter how simple it is.

Musicianship: Toth has an outstanding group of musicians backing her up and they came ready to play. Calvo was exceptional on guitar as he poured out his heart on every tune. “Con Te” was beautifully performed by Calvo, showcasing some lovely classical, as well as Spanish flavors throughout the song. He made it come alive and put the song over the top with an excellent solo. 

Performance: Led by Toth and her excellent vocals, Sutton and Slutsky, the rhythm section, could do no wrong. While Sutton shined on “Liars,” the bass line became the main focus of the song (only to be upended by a Pink Floyd intro, “Another Brick in the Wall”). Slutsky, on the other hand, was a time machine; on time, every time, on every song; no small feat. 

Summary: Maureen Toth is an Americana singer-songwriter hailing from Huntington Station, NY. She collaborated with Bernie Lawson (Lucinda Williams, Melissa Etheridge, Rickie Lee Jones, Jackson Brown and many others) early in her career and has continued to thrive since. Check out her new EP, Chiaroscuro, which was released in June and streamed on all platforms. Well-crafted songs that are beautifully sung and performed by a group of musicians making beautiful music.

– Pierce Brochetti