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MUSIC REVIEW

The Weepies give fans reason to smile

CAMBRIDGE -- The Weepies were all smiles at Club Passim on Thursday evening.

It was the first of four shows over two days, three of which sold out as soon as they were announced. This early evening performance was also at capacity.

With a second CD, ''Say I Am You," just released on Canadian label Nettwerk, there was much for singer-songwriter duo Steve Tannen and Deb Talan to feel good about.

''It's like I'm in my bedroom," said a beaming Tannen as he gazed over the audience. Talan shot him a quizzical look and, realizing that he meant he was living his dream, not some other kind of euphoria, helped him correct any misapprehension. It's what couples do -- finish each other's thoughts. The pair met at Passim four years ago and now work and live together in Southern California.

For these shows, which are part of a nationwide tour, they were joined by Meghan Toohey on electric guitar and New York-based bassist Malcolm Gold. Talan and Tannen switched between acoustic and electric guitars themselves, and the four created wonderful layers of spacy reverb, busy twinkling, and plangent bassy murmur.

The duo's individual voices had a lick-of-lemon sharpness that was smoothed and soothingly sweetened when the two united in harmony or duet.

Country-pop ditty ''Nobody Knows Me at All" was a highlight. Though the song was simple, with a firm rhythm and light melody, Talan's clean delivery was hauntingly bittersweet.

Opener Mark Geary cadged a pick from someone in the audience and told a few tales, but mostly charmed with an impressive rootsy pop set.

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