This week Basement Discs hosted two very different, nevertheless very talented young artists from the USA.
The first of these was Krystle Warren (pictured above) who is touring Australia for the first time, and performed a moving and unusual short set, in store on Wednesday. Her music is minimalist, but her voice and songs more than make up for it, her songs being masterful tales of love gained and lost, and her voice being soulful and expressive . She has been compared to Joni Mitchell in the way she she uses her voice, but I thought she sounded a bit like Joan Armatrading.
Today the engaging and genial Ben Sollee entertained the lunchtime crowd at Basement Discs with a charming performance, showcasing his expertise on his instrument of choice, the cello.
He hails from Kentucky and grew up in a musical family, adopting the cello when he was in high school - he fell in love with the weird sounds it can make, so he explained. He trained in classical music but was influenced by the jazz, blues and celtic music of his family. This explains his unusual approach to playing the cello, which covers all the aforementioned genres and then some.
He is also a very gifted song writer and has a pleasant singing voice - a sweet tenor.
Next up at Basement Discs is the wonderful Eilen Jewell on Friday 23rd March. I’ll be seeing her the night before at the Corner Hotel, but still wouldn’t miss her intimate in store for quids.
This Saturday, I am for the first time going to the Caravan Music Club in Oakleigh, rather a long trek for us in the north of the city, but purported to be a great venue. It should be worth the effort as Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen are playing. Chris Hillman is one of the pioneers of country rock, and played in such bands as The Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers and Desert Rose.