Thao Nguyen, front-woman of Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, uses the
word “fortunate” to describe her rapid career success. Her fans and
critics would have to disagree. Her fearless career choices are
paralleled by her brave musical choices, which many would argue has more to do with skill than luck.
“I started playing when I was eleven or twelve,” explains Nguyen.
During these formative years she used her mom’s laundromat as a practice space. Then while in college, Nguyen took a chance with one of her favorite artists.
“Basically, I sent an e-mail to this musician who I really was a big fan of, and I asked to open for her,” she remembers. “Her name is Laura Veirs.”
Someone read that e-mail — fortunately — and it led to an online friendship and then an opening slot.
“Everything kind of gradually fell into place,” says Nguyen
Takes chances in her music as well, the new Thao record, “Know Better Learn Faster” chronicles some very emotional events.
“There’s some family stuff, and a lot of the songs deal with the end of a relationship,” she says, with a trace of the raspy and raw voice that characterizes these songs.
Thao with the Get Down Stay Down
Tuesday, 8 p.m.
Middle East Downstairs
480 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
MBTA: Red Line to Central
$12, 18+, 617-864-EAST
Wednesday, 8 p.m.
The Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey St., New York
Thursday, 8 p.m.
First Unitarian Church
2125 Chesnut St.