It’s time to quit hinting at this show and let you all in on the news. On January 9th at Opening Bell Coffee, I’m hosting what is my first (and hopefully not last) Acoustiganza. The idea is simple: have one day filled with lots of great singer-songwriter types performing their songs in a stripped down manner at an intimate venue. And when it comes to intimate venues, my absolute favorite is Opening Bell.
So here are some of the basic facts you’ll want to know. The first act goes on at 2, and goes until close. Cover is $7. Who’s performing, you ask? Here’s a little of the performers in alphabetical order by artist name. I’ve also included a song for each artist so you can hear what kind of treat you’re in for at the Acoustiganza.
Cameron Matthew Ray
I always knew that Cameron had a strong following in Dallas, but I didn’t realize exactly how strong of a following he had until voting for The Ghosty Awards began. Cameron’s fanbase absolutely dominated, helping him win the Best Folk Act category. After hearing his C M R EP, I can see why. The songs on the surface are simple, but Mr. Ray’s sincere story telling style hits you straight in the heart. Songs like “Lullaby (For Emily)”, which you can sample below, are simple yet sweet, and his voice is very expressive, allowing every line to come alive.
Ms. Schuh is a newcomer to the scene, yet has quickly grabbed people’s attention for her strong vocals. That’s what happened to me when I heard her walking through Liquid Lounge during the Deep Ellum Arts Festival. I knew at first listen that this was an artist worthy of people’s attention. She earned Ghost’s Choice for Best Female Vocalist at the Ghosty Awards, and I suspect 2016 should be an even bigger year for Ms. Schuh.
As you know, The Ghost is now expanding his focus beyond just the DFW area, and so I proudly add this Austin talent to the lineup. Ms. Domingue’s voice is absolutely gorgeous, and her songwriting skills are pretty darn awesome too. My personal favorite is “In Her Way”, a tale of love that just never quite worked out, and learning to let go as the other one finds happiness. Warning: do not listen to this song if you’ve recently experienced heartbreak. If you still choose to listen, have a box or two of Kleenex ready.
I’m not sure what I can say about Emmeline that I haven’t said already. In the six years she’s been performing, she’s gone from a performer I saw great potential in to one of the strongest singer-songwriters in the area. In addition to being a great musician, she’s one of the nicest and most sincere people I know in the scene. What more can I say than that?
Mr. Averitt is best known for his work in cover bands like Hard Night’s Day and Revolution 9, but he’s a talented singer-songwriter in his own right. He’s been working on a solo album, and I’m hoping he’ll bust out some of the songs on that album when he performs. I also wouldn’t object if he covered this song he performed back when he was with Salim Nourallah’s band The Happiness Factor.
Ms. Gollay has been a fixture in the Fort Worth scene thanks to her work with Un Chien and her solo project, Gollay. Her album Built for Love gathered quite a buzz upon its release, with its smart yet catchy pop tunes. Here’s the title track to the album done acoustic, which hints at what her set at OBC should sound like.
Here’s another Fort Worth talent. Ms. Jozwiak first came to my attention through her work with the minimalistic shoegaze sounds of Signals & Alibis. She released Mechanical in Nature, her first solo album, this year. It’s a haunting and melancholy album that for some reason reminds me in spirit of Nick Drake’s Pink Moon. I’ve been sharing “Sunrise Blues” on my playlists a lot lately, so here’s another great track from the album.
I’m hoping you were paying attention when I debuted Mr. Gilbert’s video for “I Love the Night” this past summer. It’s a video that is absolutely captivating and deeply moving to me. And while some of that credit goes to the director, all the video did was intensify the beauty and truth in the song. Mr. Gilbert is a genuine talent who mainly performs in his hometown of Denton, so Dallas folk need to take this rare opportunity to watch him play here.
Mr. Balch infuses elements in his folk stylings, similar in style to Luke Wade. His album The Good Gets Better has been a definite highlight of the year, with such great songs as “I Never Loved You” and “Gettin’ Through to You”.