On Wednesday night I was treated to the delights of Country and Blues singer, Emily Barker. I knew nothing about her, or her music so I went along to watch with an open mind. The setting of Leaf made the gig so much more intimate and atmospheric. I perched on one of their leather sofas, glass of wine in hand, under strings of multi-coloured lights and disco-balls, ready to be treated to some great music.
Support came from Emily’s keyboard player, Pete Roe. Clearly nervous, but understandably so as the intimacy of the venue makes performing at Leaf quite intimidating I would imagine. Pete set the mood for the evening really well; providing a nice contrast to Emily’s set by performing folk based songs. A personal highlight for me was the track ‘A Strange Kind of Mystery in the Air’, due to the mixtures of minor and major keys adding a bit of depth to the song, along with the endearing lyrics.
Emily Barker played us songs from her latest album, ‘A Sweet Kind of Blue’, which was recorded last year in one of the homes of country and blues music – Memphis. It was clear from the beginning of her set that Emily was an extremely talented musician; mastering both the guitar and harmonica at the same time to open her set, and she constantly switched between acoustic and electric guitar throughout the show. Emily’s voice was so angelic and easy listening. She made you feel at ease watching her, and you really could just sit back and enjoy her music. Her tracks were a lovely mixture of country, soul and blues, with strong bass sections and plenty of vocal slides creating proper toe-tapping music. I particularly enjoyed ‘Sister Goodbye’ due to the bluesy nature of the song, and also ‘Sunrise’, as it fused elements of funk, country and blues together. A combination you would not necessarily think to put together first-hand, but one I now definitely want to hear more often.
I thoroughly enjoyed my evening at Leaf listening to Emily Barker. A country gig would not necessarily be my first choice for live music, however, Emily has definitely encouraged me to experience more. I feel like she is the perfect introduction to the genre which is full of heartfelt lyrics and expressive melodies, and I’d highly recommend listening to her music, and catching her live.
Photo Credit: Sonic PR