Early this morning, Rachel Goodrich played what was billed as her last show in Miami before she moves to Los Angeles later this month. The gig was scheduled for Jimbo’s on Virginia Key, but the rain had its say and so it happened somewhat haphazardly at the Grey Area warehouse in Wynwood. I’ve seen Rachel play as often as every one else over the last several years, and each time it is a similar experience in that soon after she gets going I remember she is easily the most talented musician in the city. This morning was no different. In a yellow shirt with oversized buttons, black pants, faded red Converse, and a pair of thin suspenders holding it all together, she played eight songs for a small crowd that seemed genuinely sad about her leaving. At the same time, the size of the crowd — maybe 40 people — suggested why she is leaving. She has outgrown this city. That is the fact, and Miami needs to realize it to understand it has a way to go in reaching its cultural benchmarks. The merest test of a city’s culture is whether it can retain its homegrown talent. I believe Miami is close, but last night showed it is not there yet.
The show was great. Rachel passed out maracas, tambourines, a bass drum, and the the audience lent percussion to her acoustic guitar and ukulele. Her voice, childlike or lonesome as she pleases, filled the concrete hall. A yellow kazoo buzzed over the harmonies. It was too short a set, considering there was no one around for many miles to complain about the noise. But it was satisfying nonetheless. Besides, to drag it out might have given the impression that she was as reluctant to move on as the crowd was to let her go, and I don’t think that’s the case.
Here are some pics from the night.
Rachel busted out the slide on a “Side of the Road” encore.