We present Exhibit A, her record of achievement. O'Connor has been one of the most in-demand session vocalists in Chicago, singing and performing with the likes of the New Pornographers, Jeff Tweedy, Mavis Staples and Neko Case. She's had a higher profile as a one-time member of the Blacks and a long-time touring partner of Andrew Bird's.
Further evidence is introduced in the form of her debut solo album, Til the Dawn, released last year. Here we have nine songs exquisitely presented with the spotlight on the material. She sings "That's Alright," the classic Stevie Nicks number from Nicks' Fleetwood Mac days, with a light country feel. She moves into torch territory for a version of the old standard "Love Letters." When given a ballad calling for more powerful presentation, such as Lori Carson's "Down Here," O'Connor shows off a more obvious depth, but even here never lets her vocal prowess overpower the song.
Our last option is to see how good she is live. Our first chance comes next week. -- Steve Pick
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