Sunday, May 3, 2015

Kat Edmonson Concert Review

They say things are bigger in Texas. Just don’t tell that to the diminutive Kat Edmonson who grew up in Houston.

There’s little bombast when it comes to Edmonson’s hushed, yet wistful voice. Her songs tease the ears with a mix of winsome jazz and singer/songwriter longing.

Edmonson recently rolled into Annapolis, Maryland’s Rams Head On Stage for the third time in the last two years in support of her third and most recent album, The Big Picture.

Dressed in a red cocktail dress, the pixie haired Edmonson hit the stage with her backing band and led the night off with the totally swinging “Rainy Day Woman,” a song that easily could have been performed by the late Amy Winehouse. The jazzy and sultry “Oh My Love” followed and wooed the room.

Edmonson explained that on the next song, the jaunty “Dark Cloud,” that she “used to sing it on the subway to keep myself entertained” and just had to record it. Her ability to go from blissful to somber was evident as she transitioned into “You Can’t Break My Heart,” where she croons, “Who do you think you are walking out on me?” with defiant heartache.

On the jazz influenced “Champagne” Edmonson laments “I’m never gonna drink again,” and follows that false promise with “champagne does it every time.” It’s relatable even if your poison is whisky and not champagne.

The French tinged “I’m Not in Love,” a song awash with accordion, led the way into a gorgeous version of “Long Way Home.”

One of the finest moments of the night was when she performed a song she said was inspired by the passing of her childhood friend who loved Roy Orbison – “Crying.” While it wasn’t Roy’s legendary song, her vocals were reminiscent and hit the highs of a personal favorite of mine, alt-country chanteuse Tift Merritt.

Edmonson carried on with two more slow burners “All The Way” and “Hopelessly Blue” before striking into the up-tempo (for her) “Avion,” which was probably the most “rocking” song in her set. “Avion” is one of those songs that would set even the hardest Pitchfork writer’s heart a flutter with a sound reminiscent of Belle and Sebastian or Camera Obscura. After that, Edmonson paid tribute to Texas’s own Alejandro Escovedo with her version of “Sensitive Boys” which stoked a fire for her most well-known song, the breathtaking, “Lucky” which she opened with in previous shows in Annapolis. Ending her set, Kat went with another “rocker” “I Don’t Know.”

Naturally, the appreciative Ram’s Head crowd pled for an encore and Kat delivered with steamy version of the Cure classic “Just Like Heaven.” Fitting, for an otherworldly performance from an understated, yet heavenly talent.


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