On February 13, 1999, alternative country group, Freakwater, graced the stage of Mercury Lounge. The New York Times published a glowing review of the band's performance:
The band has only two acoustic guitars, a stand-up bass and a fiddle, and a performance style straight off the front porch, but the singers' voices put the band on the hard-edged end of the country scale. Their timing is willfully imperfect, unsynchronized; Ms. Irwin, on her way to a note, scrapes against the roughest nodes of the throat she can find, and Ms. Bean, often pitched an octave higher, opens her mouth wide to holler her lines.
But these subtle frictions are their skills, and their peculiar combination of voices is hard to forget. Though there was some humor in songs like ''My Old Drunk Friend,'' Freakwater skips down-home niceties and gravitates toward darkness; Ms. Irwin and Ms. Bean found the stark fear lying behind the putatively optimistic tune ''Keep on the Sunny Side of Life,'' and excavated it whole, singing with beaming eyes as though the song possessed them.