I took my hermit self to French Quarter Cafe on Wednesday night to hear the lovely Holley Maher and her band. Man, I miss doing stuff like that on a regular basis. I know her songs from her myspace page and think she's a terrific songwriter. Live, however, there is that magic of watching it all come out for just that one special room of music lovers that cannot be equaled by clicking play at home.
Playing the whole "sounds like" game, I was reminded of a sound somewhere between Aimee Mann and Lily Allen, but heavier on the Aimee Mann.(I just searched for Holley Maher on YouTube and the top clip is her own arrangement of Lily Allen's "Smile.") Give Holley Maher a listen and better yet, support her live shows when you can. Her songs are wonderful.
One delightful surprise from my night out was hearing earlier act Pol Buckingham. This is what I love about Nashville. On a night where the CMAs are being held just across the river with their big ticket artists and high production performances, it's a guy on stage with one guitar and no band around him playing for a $2 cover who absolutely knocks you out and makes it obvious that you're at the best gig in town if you're hearing him sing.
I found myself thinking of John Gorka while hearing his rich and warm voice. I also found myself asking someone for his name. Talent this good you want to learn more about. So I wrote "Pol Buckingham" on a bar napkin and ensured that I'd hear his "2000 Square Feet" and "Afraid" again as soon as I got home. It's great stuff.
My thanks to Holley and Pol for sharing their talent and to French Quarter Cafe for booking them for their awesome, weekly PB&JAM (every Wednesday). Listen to good music for only a $2 cover with two-for-one PBRs, and peanut butter sandwiches for cheap.