Elvis Costello and New Orleans music legend Allen Toussaint treated a select few to an enthralling 40-minute showcase on Tuesday night in Toronto.
A little more than 100 people felt like 1,000 because of the sardine-like conditions in the basement level of the Spoke Club.
Still, it was nice to get so up-and-close and personal with the sartorially splendid and soulful-sounding duo: Costello, sometimes on acoustic guitar, and Toussaint entirely on piano, as they performed songs from their forthcoming CD, The River In Reverse, due in stores June 6.
They also treated the crowd to tunes that didn't make the record, such as Toussaint's "What Do You Want The Girl To Do?," which has been covered by Boz Scaggs and Bonnie Raitt.
Among the Spoke Club audience was local singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith, who, of course, is in a mutual admiration society with Costello.
Costello had earlier mentioned that he might want to catch Willie Nelson at the Air Canada Centre, but his longer-than-expected set with Toussaint and mingling afterwards prevented that from happening.