Held at the Kitchen Garden Cafe in Birmingham this quarterly night of country music is certainly gaining momentum. This show was a sell out and there were at least 80 people in attendance.
Set in the style of a BlueBird Cafe songwriters round, the evening started with a song from Jamie Clayton who was standing in for Steve Marks as he was in Canada on a business trip. Jamie is also Gasoline & Matches bassist and he was always going to have his own spot at one of these events but it just happened sooner than expected. I didn't know any of his music but he fitted right in with everyone and I really enjoyed his songs. He did make a comment later on in the evening about how nice it was to have an attentive audience who sit and listen to the songs and how much artists appreciate that.
Next to sing was Emma Jade. She has recently released an ep (I actually bought the very first one she sold) and let me tell you it is fab. It was produced by Tim from The Wandering Hearts. Emma has a powerhouse of a voice and it is really suited to singing country music. She is funny and charismatic when introducing her songs. I have known Emma for a good few years and seen her perform quite a few times and her style is very different now she is singing her own songs.
Izzie Walsh is intriguing. I could watch her and her band all day but this is the first time I had seen her perform as a solo artist. You could tell she was the shy one of the performers that night until she opens her mouth to sing. I love the way Izzie delivers a song. From barely a whisper to almost a shriek (a good shriek), there is so much light and shade in her phrasing of her songs. She is mesmerising.
Danny McMahon has had a whirlwind of a year. I don't think that this time last year anyone had heard of him and now he has been nominated for numerous awards. A very likeable guy who writes good songs based on his life experiences, which makes them very relateable. He has a hell of a range to his voice too. He also sang a song he only finished writing 2 days before. It sounded great. Called 'I wish I'd met you sooner'. I think everyone has thought that at least once in their lives. It made me think that if I had met my husband when I was 18 he would have been 11 (laughs) so it wouldn't have been a good idea to have met him sooner.
So last but by no means least, the songs that Sally Rea Morris chose to sing. I think that this lady is a very clever songwriter. She didn't sing any of the Gasoline & Matches songs that we have grown to love as she was flying solo tonight because she hadn't practised with Jamie, so she sang a song that she wrote a few years ago after being dumped by text message. What a great song. She also sang a song about vipers. These are people who are lovely to your face and then talk about you behind your back. I think this has instantly become a favourite with me and everyone knows a viper. I love Sally's voice too. It has a beautiful tone to it.
This fantastic event is organised by Sally and Dan Wharton from 'Your Life In A Song'. They are bringing country music to the midlands. It is also filmed and you can find those sessions on the 'Your Life In A Song' website and fb page.
The next Nashville Sounds in the Round is on Wednesday 28th November 2018. I can't wait.