Show Reviews

Show Review: Song Suffragettes ft. Andrea Vasquez, Leah Marie Mason, Lauren Weintraub, and more!

 

SONG SUFFRAGETTES

Ft. Andrea Vasquez, Leah Marie Mason, Nell Maynard, Lauren Weintraub, Bailey James & Mia Morris

Monday May 2, 2022

@ The Listening Room Cafe in Nashville, TN

(Review by: Jeffrey Kurtis)

“No woman is an island, nor would we want to be…because if you can’t share real life then how boring would it be,” boldly stated the pre-show introduction video as flashes of Song Suffragettes moments past flooded the screens on either side of the stage featuring the likes of Kelsea Ballerini, Carly Pearce, Raelynn, Lauren Alaina, Ashley McBryde, Maddie & Tae, and more!

“Song Suffragettes was founded 8 years ago as a coming together of women artists and writers in the music industry,” began this night’s host Nell Maynard before shockingly revealing, “because did you know that of all the country music on radio last year, only 15% of it was female artists.”

As is the case with any Song Suffragettes show, each of the songwriters/artists brought a vibe and flare to their performances that displayed who they uniquely are as individual talents.

Bailey James, who sat in the first chair as a last-minute fill in for Carly Burruss, acted as the opener for each of the 3 rounds. She delivered a style that aptly stretches the borders of rock, pop, blues, jazz, and country to each of their furthest points to create a blended sound to call her own as she showcased on “I Don’t Need You,” “Better Angels,” and her newest release “The Crow,” a song written about losing her brother to suicide in which before playing she very openly shared of how one of her goals in 2022 was to be completely transparent about her own mental health struggles while using her social media platforms to let people know that it’s okay to not be okay, but to also not be ashamed to seek help.

Lauren Weintraub was vastly different than the performances from James before her in that her style was more squarely bent towards the modern branded era akin to what we hear on today’s Top 40 country radio. She captured the heartbreak/what if emotions of the lyrics and drew the crowd in on the back of an irresistible melody on “Boston,” gave everyone a bop along groove and several crafty lines on “Ex Appeal,” but really solidified herself with “Two Cents,” the second of the three songs she performed which featured the memorable hook, “I might be broke, but I still don’t need your two cents.”    

Host of the evening Nell Maynard, who sat in the coveted middle chair, introduced herself as being purely a songwriter and not an artist/songwriter as with all the others on stage who fluidly walked the line between both sides. As such, she often leaned her craft deeper into a left of the dial folksy driven sound as she showcased on “Haley’s Comet” and “What I Do For A Living.” However, proving that as a songwriter she isn’t just a one trick pony by any stretch of the imagination, Maynard also showed off her strong abilities to write a catchy, radio friendly tune when she opened her portion of the rounds with “Half of It.”

Leah Marie Mason, who has had spent this past year positioning herself as a one-to-watch, breakout country artist, dipped back to where her surge really all began while also giving everyone a glimpse into her next chapter by the end of her three-song set. Opening with the uber successful “Far Boy,” the first song she ever put out, Mason then pushed into the here and now with her most recent single “Habit,” before rounding out her night with “Burnout,” the only unreleased song she played that took us back to when her and her boyfriend of three years were first starting out and brought us straight into the anxiety she felt during that time period when she was just hoping it would go well and that her heart wouldn’t get broken by him.

Andrea Vasquez, a Latin-infused country artist who gets her unique vibe by leaning into her storytelling style of songwriting to grab the emotional tilt of the lyrics while also pulling strong influence from her Latin roots, sat in the sought-after red chair that signaled she was making her debut performance with Song Suffragettes.

“I write a lot of songs about toxic relationships I was in,” Vasquez said as she gave the crowd a spoken introduction to her music and songwriting before playing “Used To,” a song which allowed her to lean her softer styled vocals perfectly into the pace of the song as she then gradually built to the power of the chorus and tugged on hearts through the realization of losing love lyric.

In a moment of humorous bonding on stage between writers, before playing “Overthink” Vasquez lamented, “I wrote this one with a bottle of wine,” which quickly prompted Maynard to chime in with a touch of writing room sarcasm when she jokingly asked, “did the bottle of wine get 50% writer’s credit?”

“I’m releasing a song next month,” Vasquez excitedly said with a smile on her face. “It’s called “Reverse,” and I had this concept in my head and wrote it with a good girlfriend of mine Taylor O’Connor, (and it’s about) when you just want to replay different parts of a relationship for different reasons,” she finished as she left the crowd with a glimpse of things to come as she took us through a picture painting lyric that brought us right into each moment she fondly remembered, before cleverly swerving the idea of the lyric into it actually becoming about looking back on everything from a current heartbreak perspective.  

As with any Song Suffragettes show, there are two staple traditions that are always upheld.

1) At the end of the second round/beginning of third (depending on how you look at it) Mia Morris gets her opportunity to come out from behind the cajon and into the spotlight, which she did on this night -her impressive 147th Song Suffragettes show – by playing her song “All They Have.”

2) And all the songwriter/artists on stage representing the Song Suffragettes for the evening come together for a cover song that allows them to blend their impeccable voices and show off their amazing talent as they often swerve outside of their normal comfort zones. They did that with their cover of Muna’s “Silk Chiffon.”

Song Suffragettes shows have become such a staple to Monday nights in Music City and you absolutely know that no matter which show you attend as an audience member, you can always expect to hear top-notch songwriters and artists. However, as this night proved, the organization isn’t just sitting back on what they’ve already accomplished but are striving to be stronger and stronger as they continue to make a tremendous impact.

From left to right, this group of five (6 including Mia Morris) as a collective really seemed to gel and feed off one another; always causing the one who was playing next to elevate their game to match the level of the song that just finished before them. When each performer meets that challenge and accomplishes that goal, such as they all did on this night, you experience a purely beautiful look at what a Song Suffragettes show is all about!

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