Lauren Pritchard plays the Mercury Lounge

Lauren Pritchard, with drummer Simon Lea, at the Mercury Lounge in New York City on Aug. 5. (Photos copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

Lauren Pritchard conquered Broadway as Lise in the fantastic original company of the Tony Award-winning rock musical Spring Awakening. On Thursday, the Tennessee native, who’s just 22 years old, returned to New York City to conquer the pop scene.

Lauren, who played keys and sang, got subtle backing from drummer Simon Lea and guitarist Paul Sayer. She blew the roof off the Mercury Lounge with her powerful voice. She sang a very short, showcase set —just eight songs — in a bluesey style with country touches. Her delivery was just the right balance of Broadway power and authentic saloon-singer sloppiness.

But the pop newcomer showed that she’s not quite off book. Take a look at her set list, with instructions on when to talk and when to sing:

Lauren Pritchard's set list.

At least she didn’t have to write out her dialogue!

Lauren was at her best behind the keyboard, because it gave her something to do with her hands. When she stood to sing a couple of numbers, she appeared a bit uncertain about how to move. When she moved to her music she appeared to be unable to remember exactly how she wanted to move.

She was charming, and she’ll certainly get more comfortable on the pop stage as she tours to drum up enthusiasm for her album Wasted in Jackson, which is due in October as a British import. (She’s been living in London.)

Now that's singing!

Lauren emotes.

The huge ring didn't impede her keyboard playing.

More photos after the jump.

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