Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Lacey Kay Cowden + Matt Ellis = Bright Moments

Well, Lacey Kay Cowden sure ended her June residency at The Townhouse with a slam bang finish! Phew.

After entrancing audiences each Tuesday in June with her dulcet tones, Cowden wrapped it up last night with perhaps her strongest performance ever. We're great friends, so I've seen her play a lot, but last night was something special. The confidence and strength displayed as she wove her musical tales of rambling and roaming, loving and learning was of a performer both feeling it, and knowing it, down to her bones. Her backing band made it all extra powerful, with a real T-Bone Burnett kind of sound that we all just loved.

*{Note to Mr. Burnett - You should probably work with Cowden. You'll love it.}

Playing the stories off of her Go Great Guns ep, Cowden simply killed it. Like, I watched people fall in love with her in front of my eyes. I love it when you see people get turned on to new music that they DIG. It's a special kind of alchemy that only comes along every so often. Rad.

Another great friend (and Cowden's ep producer) took the stage next, and similarly scorched it. Matt Ellis and his band brought their rock and roll heat to the already boiling room, where even my hair was almost curling down there in the Del Monte Speakeasy. It really felt like Summer finally, the heat and rock and fun with your friends that pretty much define this season.

Friends! That's the best part of these shows, that everyone on the bill are friends, so all of the mutual friends are in the audience too, and everywhere you turn it's another happy greeting, another heartfelt embrace, another story to tell, another rug to cut. It was also the very last night of my friend Mario's 30's, so we got DOWN in fine fashion (there was even a little break dancing going on).

Ellis regaled us with his catchy-ass songs (mainly off his excellent most recent album, The Greatest Escape), that always stick in my head for days after I hear them. He brought up his lovely wife, Vavine, to join him on my favorite number, "Seven Years At Sea". It's so lush and sublime, and watching them sing this beauty together is so great I can barely stand it. Seriously.

I was pretty much going nuts with my friends the whole time, thus not doing any note taking, but I can tell you that every song placed Ellis and company more firmly in the collective palm of our hands. I realize there's some hyperbole going on here today, but that's what it felt like to me, so there. Aside from the two Ellis hecklers right in front (aka bff's), that is.

All that good music only made us want more, and we got it from DJ Bright Moments (Paddy Wilkins). That dude spun us right up into a frenzy, jamming everything from Prince to "Happy Birthday" for Mario. Bright Moments will not only get you dancing, but remind you that in that moment are actually experiencing for yourself a blindingly bright moment.

We collapsed out the door, singing and dancing all the way home under the almost full bright Summer moon moments.


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