@ The Retreat 21/10/2013
- The Gallow Birds
- Citrus Jam
- Eva McGowan
- Erik Parker
I could shout from the rooftops about what an awesome selection of musicians Rhea Caldwell has been getting together for this new event at the Retreat Hotel. The front bar at the Retreat is oft neglected for the larger room out the back, but I find it to have a cozy, small town dive bar appeal with its wooden walls and dingy light. This evening, the musicians corner was dressed up with black velvety curtains hanging on tree branches and flower fairy lights.
Straight to the point - the music.
The Gallow Birds:
The first of the sound issues for the night. I'm not sure if it was just inexperience with self-mixing or just adjusting to a new PA. One guitar sounded like it was three rooms away, the violin was barely audible over the other instruments (and I was at the front). The playing was pretty loose, but there was definite raw potential for something special. Some of the songs were distinctly poignant with great lyrics and I really enjoyed how they spread the vocal workload - giving each member moments to shine.
If you haven't already seen his brand of tropical pirate shed, then get off the internet and go see him play. He's a hard working musician who plays most nights of the week, so google his whereabouts. Citrus Jam moves your emotions without need for the coarse medium of speech. Breaking a total of three strings during his 30 minute set didn't even seem to phase him. I loved his slide and blues work that is indicative of a really great upcoming album.
Eva is someone whose name I have seen repeatedly on posters but never had the opportunity to see. I'm grateful that I have. The songstress has charming stage presence and a lovely guitar tone. Her songs come in a range of genres and posses enough technicality to keep a musician interested in her hands and her melody. She has a haunting, sensual and raw kind of folk jazz that makes her one to watch.
Erik Parker Music
Erik Parker has a fairly definitive style. Just by looks, you may expect a 70's vibe, but you'll be surprised when a very accomplished blues/rock/folk issues from his mouth and guitar/ukulele. Erik performed an excellent rendition of the Edith Piaf song, “Rien de Rien”. I must remark on how much easier it is to understand when not sung by Edith Piaf. Though he is equally proficient on both instruments, I prefer his guitar work. In particular his final song, which had the “wow, such star” factor.
Overall, Rhea puts on an excellent show and if your Monday is being too typical, perhaps you should break the mould and get on down to a Dear Monday.
Awesome: The spread and excellent quality of the musicians.
Ordinary: Sound/tech issues that slowed down the evening.
Tasty: Good ol' Gn'T