Show Reviews

Show Review: Erin Gibney w Alyssa Lazar, Andrew Sevener, and Landon Wall

 

Erin Gibney

With Alyssa Lazar, Andrew Sevener, and Landon Wall

Tuesday July 19, 2022

@ The Listening Room Cafe in Nashville, TN

(Review by: Jeffrey Kurtis)

Nashville is very appropriately nicknamed Music City.

Everywhere you turn there’s live music to be heard, whether it be pouring out the front windows of all the bars that line Lower Broadway, blaring out a speaker that’s been set up on select corners around downtown, in your hotel’s lounge, around the pool at your campground, etc.

However, the true heartbeat of Music City is found in its songwriters.

Nashville is a songwriting town!

Though there are a variety of different hot spots on all sides of town that host writers rounds on any given night, The Listening Room Café – just a drop south of the downtown neon lights – is the mecca for a songwriter; a goal to check off their bucket list.

While many other places that host these writer nights have the unspoken rule of not talking during the performances, The Listening Room Café refreshingly upholds the value of their establishments name as they flat out say prior to the show beginning that the performance is all about the songwriter and listening to their songs as they immediately set in motion their rule of keeping table conversation low and to an extreme minimum.

Erin Gibney, an artist who we at Today’s Country Magazine have proudly named as part of our ‘Class of 2022,’ has been dreaming of playing the stage of The Listening Room Café since she was 18 – and on this Tuesday night, that dream came true when she hosted a round surrounded by her friends Landon Wall, Andrew Sevener, and Alyssa Lazar.

The past year has been very good to Erin as her singles, “Easy Like That,” “Single At The Same Time,” and “Naïve,” have all worked together to create a substantial amount of buzz as she prepares for the release of her highly-anticipated Rose Colored Glasses EP later this year (2022); a momentous buzz that she continued to ride in front of a packed house at TLR.

While the night shined brightly on Gibney, each of the acts on stage brought their own unique touches to their performances to offer highlight reels into who they are and what they have to offer, as the receptive crowd aptly listened and responded appropriately as each song’s final notes were played.

Alyssa Lazar, Gibney’s best friend since their time together at Belmont University, sat behind a blinged out, silver sparkled keyboard and leaned into a soulful pop infused vibe that also carried a distinct throwback feel that transported the audience to the heyday of black and white televisions and the blend of jazz and blues music that often accompanied that era as she pulled us through songs of encouragement such as “I Thought It Would Kill Me” and “Maybe I Did Change.”

Andrew Sevener, a Texas native who now calls Nashville home, is recognizable from his time spent on Team Blake while appearing on NBC’s hit television program The Voice. However, with a new EP on the horizon, he utilized his timeslot to put on a showcase of where he is now and what the near future holds for him.

He leaned a gritty guitar into a good ol’ drinkin’ song with “Love Beer,” tugged on heartstrings when he told of the long distance relationship that he and his fiancé are currently navigating through on the emotionally charged “I’m Doing Fine,” and finished his portion of the night with “You Were Mine,” a catchy, tempo driven kiss off that kept everyone smiling and laughing with the clever, memorable, tongue and cheek lyrics.

Landon Wall didn’t have too much to say as far as song introductions went, but rather he let his performances mostly speak for themselves with songs such as “Week or Two” and “Somebody’s Out There Listening,” the latter which gave a perfect bookend the entire vibe of the night inside a room built on songwriting as it provided the thought-provoking, introspective answer into the many strong reasons why singers sing the songs that they do.

Accompanied by Ashlie Taber on guitar, Erin Gibney first took a moment to soak in the entire night as she gushed with gratitude, “This is my first ever show at The Listening Room, and ever since I moved here when I was 18 years old, I’ve dreamed of playing here!” she smiled big as she breathed in deep while the crowd cheered.

“I’m gonna start with the song that got things started for me here in Nashville,” she said as the familiar chords of “Easy Like That” radiated over the crowd as Gibney wrapped her outstanding vocal around the modern pop country melody as she reached incredible heights within her range, captivating the audience while they could be seen from left to right across the room tapping toes against the wooden floor in rhythm with her.

“I was actually debating playing this next song tonight, “confessed Erin as she further introduced “Over Me Over You.” “I haven’t recorded it yet, but I wrote it with Jillian Dawn… and you know how you can scroll through Spotify and see what other people are listening to? One night I was doing that, snooping on my ex…we broke up when we were 16, so it’s not anything deep,” she chuckled. “But he happened to be listening to our song and I made this whole big thing about how maybe he’s not over me…he is! But yeah, that’s what this song is about.”

“So, I got to write with Kris Allen who I’ve loved since pre–American Idol,” Gibney enthusiastically shared. “But I was a bit of a trainwreck that day. My boyfriend of 5 years and I, we had recently broken up and this was kind of that moment when it all really hit me. I don’t play this song live too much but I’m gonna play it for you guys tonight and I hope you like it,” Gibney cautiously optimistically said as the crowd leaned in toward the stage to get a closer listen to “Exit Signs,” a midtempo that’s built for today’s current Top 40 and acted as a perfect spotlight moment for her voice to shine as it tilted into all the proper emotions to gut punch home the lyrics when they called for that hard strike.

Just as when she started her set, before playing her final song of the night Erin Gibney once again showed complete gratitude and soaked in the moment of checking off this venue and stage from her bucket list.

“I’m looking out at all of you guys out there and I just want to freeze this moment,” she said. “This is such an important show for all of us up here on stage and it’s a night that I won’t ever forget. Thank you for being here,” she humbly said as the crowd clapped.

“This last song I’m gonna play is my favorite song that I’ve ever released, and I fought tooth and nail for it. It really describes my story of coming up in the industry, and in life, so so well! It’s a coming-of-age song called “Naïve,” she finished as she belted out her most current single with power that came straight from the heart, pounding the lyrics into the audience as she surrounded them with a strong showering of positivity and hopefulness of staying in childlike wonder throughout life as each new, and complicated layer of it unfolds.

The thing that’s so endearing about the songwriting community on nights like these, is being invited into their tight knit family as you watch from the audience in awe as they incredibly support one another on stage.

When the songs being played called for it, the other songwriters could be seen swaying along with the groove or singing along with their favorites from their writer friends on stage with them, while on the heart tugging, lyrical driven masterpieces, they inched up to the edge of their seats in stunned silence for a closer listen.

These nights are the shining example of what makes Nashville’s music industry such a great place to be, and with all these amazing songwriter/artists who graced our presence tonight still being so young, it’s clear as day that country music’s next chapters are in very good hands!

 

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