Each Sunday evening (7-10 PM) at Cafe Nola you’ll find what is being called “Listening Room Sessions”. Essentially, the idea is you get to hear three different songwriters (one for each hour) all in one night. Its second installment was wonderful and I’m looking forward to attending more. There is such a diverse lineup within this setup and you get to hear performers be intimate with just a guitar and vocal. – Plus, the music is over by 10 PM, so you can get to bed at a reasonable time.
Diane Bunch – Soft and subtle acoustic songs with a voice full of raw gentle emotion. The songs would be fragile but they are supported by layered backing vocal harmonies in an almost loop-like fashion. A phenomenal touching cover of “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby” by Cigarette After Sex was a highlight for me.
Caleb P. Rose – Self-described as “whiskey-soaked heartbreak music”, these songs are mainly about drinking and ex-lovers. Solid twangy vocals mix with jangly rhythmic country guitar strumming. Hints of folk and bluegrass make their way in as well. The interesting part comes with Rose’s Iron Maiden guitar strap and power pop sensibility, such as when he makes a nod to big star, singing, “this December boy’s got it bad”. An interesting cover of MGMT’s “Kids” with harmonic was surprising.. The spontaneity of “mistakes” in shows always makes for special moments, like when Rose forgets the lyrics to “Kids” and the crowd helps him out.
Ash Cheshire – I’ve been stunned since the first time I saw Ash with just a guitar and microphone. This performance was all songs never heard before, so out of respect to that I didn’t record anything. Just know that they are truly special, unique and emotionally gripping. – continuing the doom and gloom tradition. Ash demanded silence from the room and they listened. It’s thoroughly impressive how much applause was at the end of each song… thunderous wouldn’t even describe it. Be very excited for the future.