LAURA Veirs couldn't be sure when she first toured Britain. Was it 2002 or 2003, she wondered aloud?

Here in North Yorkshire, it was June 2003, when she opened a one-off Americana triple bill with Jesse Sykes and Erin McKeown "as the cows galloped by", as she said that unforgettable night at The Band Room, Low Mill, on the North York Moors.

Veirs has since played York with her bands The Tortured Souls and The Saltbreakers, as well as alone with live looping one time, banjo and whistles another. She was last here in November 2013 in a band line-up at Fibbers. "It's good to see you again; it's been too long," she quietly re-introduced herself at the outset.

Aside from her librarian glasses and headband, and her easy, humorous manner between songs, her presentation style had changed again for this latest visit: her Crescent debut to a seated full-house.

Veirs, 45, will be in Britain for only a week, a mini-tour playing "the Ns", Norwich and Nottingham, and now York, chauffeured from gig to gig by her support act, Sam Amidon, in his car. All they need is a guitar or two, his fiddle, two mic stands and a screen for ever-changing imagery of magpies, fish, fauna, fowl and mythical creatures: symbols to match her concern for the fragility of precious things on last April's concept album, The Lookout, the Trump-shadowed product of a year's worth of daily writing in her attic studio in Portland, Oregon.

Veirs would "play songs from that album and all the other albums, just kind of winging it," she said, and it did indeed turn out to be an informal night, albeit that Veirs, once in song, is a study in concentration.

It was the simplest format Veirs has ever played over here: only her voice, so springy, clean and sometimes childlike, her acoustic guitar, no whistles, no yodelling, no hand claps from past shows. Having accompanied Amidon on a couple of his numbers, he returned the favour for Veirs' closing three numbers and her second encore too.

Veirs' works new and old, songs of sun, autumn, winter and more sun, were complemented by covers of "outsider songwriter" Daniel Johnston and The Grateful Dead and a wistful tribute to the "somewhat obscure" songwriter Judee Sill, Song For Judee, from the wonderful case/lang/veirs collaboration. If this was "winging it", then tell Laura I loved it.