It was a rather a sad day when news came in April that IO Earth’s singer Claire Malin was leaving the group; she’d been a vital part of their sound and a striking figurehead. Dave Cureton and co are bouncing back though, with a superb set at Celebr8.2 this year featuring Malin’s replacement, Linda Odinsen. In this context you can listen to this solid live album as a worthy souvenir of the Malin era.
Live In The USA was recorded last year during the band’s acclaimed performance at ROSfest in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This marked their biggest concert to date and their elevation to the next level in the business, and you can sense that.
The musicians palpably raise their game, from opener Moments, into Drifting, The Creation and monolithic two-parter Live Your Life. What really comes across is IO Earth as a highly skilled collective – not just due to Cureton’s obvious guitar prowess, but Adam Gough’s versatile keysmanship, Luke Shingler’s tasteful sax/clarinet work, and of course Malin’s angelic tones.
Apparently after the show she cried at the warm reaction the Majestic Theatre audience accorded them. Little details like that make her swansong that bit more poignant.