At the very first Listening Room show, the hanging lights fell during the performance. And in a very fitting way, the Listening Room’s last performance at the Michaux House, the lights fell again before musician Tyler Crowley began to perform.
“I was at the first show when the lights fell,” he said. “It’s a privilege to be on the other side of the mic and witness this.”
The evening began with Knox Hubard, who had a voice that made the ladies swoon. He sang about train rides and life lessons and about finding the love of your life, with help from Chris and Antonia of the Speckled Bird and Mark of Louisiana Territory. Hubard’s simplistic melodies even made me pay attention to the lovely sounds.
Next up, Alison Self (who cleans up very nicely) brought up her ukelele and played numerous vintage country and folk songs from her “self-titled” CD (get it? SELF-titled?) including songs about wanting to be a single girl again, having a broken heart and even played a Loretta Lynn (“she had a song about birth control” she said.) She played so many shorter songs that the set seemed to fly by and it ended very quickly – but not before the crowd demanded one more song when she asked.
Finally, Crowley took the stage with an all-star cast of Listening Room favorites including Jonathan and Antonia Vassar on dual accordions, and Marcus Tenney, Reggie Chapman and Lance Koehler on drums and brass. He played numerous songs from his brand new solo release “Days and Dreams.” Crowley usually plays in many other bands including Snowy Owls and Louisiana Territory, but it was really great to hear him go solo this time around. You could tell there was so much heartfelt emotion behind each song. And to end the night, he performed his favorite Radiohead song “Letdown” because it was simply his favorite song.
Next month, the Listening Room shows will be moved to the Firehouse Theatre. While the mystique of walking down the tiny outdoor staircase to the basement will be lost, the venue change will be exciting. We’ll see what next month brings.