Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Jodie Manross, HuDost, Ten Cent Poetry and Brent Thompson in one night!

Jodie Manross, Preservation Pub, Knoxville
I've gotten pretty addicted to the Speakeasy at the Preservation Pub. Unlike the smoke-easy downstairs there is no, well, smoke. What you will find is a place to actually sit and listen to music, which is a pretty valuable thing. It's like the Square Room in that the expectation of most people gathered is that we will all actually listen to the music being performed. The acoustics in both places are also excellent, but the speakeasy has a bit more personality and is much more intimate. It's as if you are sitting in the musician's living room hanging out.

Brent Thompson, Preservation Pub, Knoxville
 That's the environment that Homegrown and WFIV have chosen for their weekly broadcast at 7:00 every Wednesday night and I'm so glad. I don't make every show, but I've made most of them so far. A couple of weeks ago Urban Brother and myself enjoyed a great evening of music starting with Homegrown's presentation of Brent Thompson.

Brent Thompson, Preservation Pub, Knoxville
 His music is very good. The best comparison I could think of while listening to him perform was Amos Lee, so I'd say if you like Amos Lee, this is probably your local guy to investigate. If you don't know Amos, you should definitely look him up. For a little vocal support and a significant enhancement to the visual appeal, he brought a young lady to the stage to perform with him. I didn't catch her name. I felt like he could have probably benefited from offering her a larger part in the vocals.

Ten Cent Poetry, Preservation Pub, Knoxville
Ten Cent Poetry, Preservation Pub, Knoxville
After Homegrown ended three other acts took the stage in sequence. Ten Cent Poetry is based in Asheville, but they play pretty much throughout the southeast and their music is quirky, indie, folk with excellent songwriting and harmonies. The duo includes Chelsea Lynn La Bate on guitar and Melissa Hyman on Cello. As far as I can tell Chelsea Lynn "is" Ten Cent Poetry and Melissa is part of the band, but I can't imagine one without the other, so I'm not so sure. The way their harmonies bounced in unexpected directions reminded me of the Civil Wars, but they have much more of an edge and a dynamic range than those guys. The Roches came to mind and there has to be a tip of the hat to the Indigo Girls.
HuDost, Preservation Pub, Knoxville

HuDost, Preservation Pub, Knoxville
HuDost performed next and they are difficult to categorize. "Country and Eastern" is one of the phrases on their facebook page, I believe and that's pretty apt. This is another duo in which it is difficult to tell if "HuDost" is the nomme de guerre for lead vocalist/harmonium player Moksha Sommer or for the band which also includes Jemal Wade Hines on vocals, (amazing) guitar and anything else with strings along with a complicated arrangement of electronics. The music was hypnotic without becoming boring, melodic but not predictable and exotic without seeming completely foreign. You just have to go to their page and listen. Based in Montreal and New York, this is a musical act that deserves a very large following.

Jodie Manross, Preservation Pub, Knoxville

Jodie Manross, Preservation Pub, Knoxville
The night ended with an appearance by Jodie Manross who cut her musical teeth in Knoxville, moved to New York for several years and is now back home still making her musical magic. Her large voice still takes center stage and her sweet personality could charm the most jaded crowd. Being a Bob Dylan fan I was delighted to hear her open with "Make You Feel My Love." Unfortunately she and her guitarist apparently agreed that he would beat a rhythm out on his guitar that really distracted and over-shadowed the beauty of her treatment. It would have been much better acapella. That said, her brief set was dynamic and this is one jewel I'm happy to have returned to our little city. I'll look forward to hearing her again.

So, it was a great night of music, but it continues with at least a one hour version each Wednesday night. Tonight's show features Ryan Michaels. Why not come see what it's all about?

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At October 19, 2011 at 10:06 AM , Blogger Cindy Ellison said...

It would be wonderful to experience an evening such as the one you described, especially within walking distance! I am assuming you walked to the Preservation Pub. Great photos and reviews!

At October 20, 2011 at 8:05 AM , Blogger Melinda said...

Thanks for tipping me off to this, Urban Guy. See you there soon.

At October 20, 2011 at 7:55 PM , Blogger Knoxville Urban Guy said...

Yes, Cindy, I walked to the Preservation Pub. I've gotten so addicted to walking and not driving that I miss good music outside downtown because there is so much within walking distance. I'd love to share a table with you, Melinda. One problem we might have is that there is this pesky little book store downtown that sometimes has events that conflict with the Pub schedule. Life is hard in the cold, cold city.

At October 27, 2011 at 1:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for writing this! It's one of the nicest live show reviews of us we've seen in terms of 'getting' the music and 'describing the indescribable'. We love Knoxville and hope to return in the Spring with the full band!


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