Show Reviews



Ft. James House, Jamie Floyd, Jeff Cohen, and Zoee

Monday November 21, 2022

@ The Listening Room Café in Nashville, TN

(Review by: Jeffrey Kurtis)

Nashville’s music community is built on a strong foundation of songwriters who are always working tirelessly - day in and day out - to create the songs that when they come together just right, will strike the heart of the listener, making their intended impact.

For songwriters, there is no better spot to play in Nashville then The Listening Room.

With a longtime policy in place that asks patrons to keep their table conversation to an absolute minimum, the space lives up to its name, becoming a true listening room where the audience is completely invested in the songs and the stories the songwriters tell, whether they’re trying out their newest creations or delivering the hits they wrote that everyone knows and loves.

Having had the blessed opportunity to already take in a few songwriter nights featuring James House, Jeff Cohen, and Zoee, the comradery that they share together on stage is addictive as you can clearly see not only their utmost respect of one another’s craft, but you also become part of the supportive circle of friends alongside them as they invite the audience into their world for an hour and half. Likewise, Jamie Floyd, who has written with all three of the other songwriters on this particular bill, fit snuggly into the family atmosphere and overall vibe of the night.

“I happened to be in a room with a great songwriter named Kostas and I had just broken up with my girlfriend. He asked me how I was doing with that and if I thought we’d get back together, and I told him, “man, I ain’t that lonely yet!”” smiled James House as the audience cheered in anticipation of the opening song of the night, “Ain’t That Lonely Yet,” the smash hit that Dwight Yoakam rode all the way to the #1 position, and earned a song of the year nomination with.

During his performance, that true support of one another radiated from the stage as each of the other three started singing along, enticing the crowd to do the same while immediately showing their bond within one another’s craft as their friendships illuminated the venue.

Pulling the crowd to the edge of their seats for a closer listen, House delivered “To Be with You,” a song he co-wrote with Raul Malo of The Mavericks that landed on Rod Stewarts Human album in 2001,  before driving into one of his artist songs with “Anything For Love,” the 1995 release that leans on a classic country style of storytelling that brought us on a road trip through the western states, vividly painting visuals while telling his mom and dad’s love story.

“I wrote this next song with Gary Burr and cut it with producer Monty Powell. I was between record deals at the time, and I thought this was the song that will get me another one,” shared House. “Monty called me at about midnight one night to tell me that they had just finished the new Diamond Rio record, but they don’t hear a single and wanted to cut “In A Week or Two.” I was like s**t, but yeah go ahead,” House smiled as he kept the crowd singing along with him while playing the song that went to #2 on the charts.

“I’m gonna play a medley of my hit,” sarcastically said House as he took the crowd back to his 1995 Days Gone By album for the second time of the night (“Anything For Love” also appears on this album) with “This Is Me Missing You,” a song which rose to #6 on the Billboard Hot Country chart

“I’m working on a new record,” enthusiastically told Jamie Floyd. “And so tonight I’m gonna be playing some of the songs that I’ve written for myself and some that I’ve written for others,” she finished as she kicked off with “Play Me Like the Records You Love,” leaning into a feisty, darker toned melody that allowed her voice to strike the higher tiered notes with the proper amount of yearning to suit the emotion of the lyrics as she slapped into an ear-catching, infectious walk into the songs hook.

“A couple years ago I started writing with a singer-songwriter, Mattie Diaz…and four of those songs made her album,” Floyd shared as the crowd responded with a showering of admiration. “Harry Styles ended up hearing one of the songs and brought Mattie out on tour to open his shows in these big arenas and stadiums. But when you make one hit record, then you have to get on with making another one, and so me and Mattie are writing for a new album and this is one of those songs,” finished Jamie as she took the crowd through the heart-wrenching, break-up song “For Months Now,” which saw her move her vocal into a mournful cry as the lyrics dictated, singing of finally finding the courage to walk away from a relationship after months of slowly falling out of love.

With the audiences approval, Floyd delivered an ultra-catchy, original Christmas song, “Sleighing It,” during which she led the crowd in a rousing sing along as everyone bopped and tapped a toe in rhythm, before slowing down the pace to deliver “Sad Girls Do,” a cleverly crafted song that allowed Jamie to push her voice into a redemption type of lyric that saw her singing of becoming the strong women she is today because of once being the sad girl that had to learn how to be tough through broken hearts, wrong turns, etc.

Having already put on an absolute clinic with her vocal abilities, Floyd closed her part of the round by moving her voice through incredible paces that embodied the spirit of New York’s Broadway as she performed “I Know You,” a song – 1 of 25 – that she has written for a Broadway play called The King’s Wife, which she told before playing is the closing crescendo moment at the end of act number one.

After a spot on comparison between songwriting and being a sculptor, which saw Jeff Cohen talk about chipping away at crafting a song, he delivered the incredible “The Way You Look At Me,” a softer paced love song lifted from his upcoming album (due out in January 2023), that saw him embracing the pureness of unconditional love and how the little things mean the most when you completely allow yourself let go and fall into each moment, trying to make them last just a little longer.

“I was very angry when I wrote this next one,” Cohen said with a sarcastic chuckle as the place lit up when he began to strum the opening chords of “Crazy For This Girl,” leading a sing along with the crowd before pushing the outro into the “Paw Patrol Theme,” which hilariously saw him apologizing to anyone who has a 10 year old (or has been around one) for having been a part of writing it.

“This was the theme song for a WB show called Jack and Jill, but I haven’t played it out in about 15 years,” confessed Cohen. “Did you ever have a friend who was dating someone, and they couldn’t wait for you to meet them…and then you do,” he paused with animated look of “yikes” on his face. “And you’re thinking, this is the biggest idiot I’ve ever met, but you can’t say anything and you just kind of hope they figure it out,” he finished as several heads in the crowd nodded in agreement as he played “The Truth About Romeo.”

After talking about a recent trip to Denmark and working with some of the songwriters and artists on that side of the world, Cohen then brought Dorthe Gerlach and Michael Hartmann to the stage (collectively known as the Danish pop duo Hush)  who performed “We’re the Same,” flavoring the audience with their singer-songwriter vibe that put their perfect harmonies on display, while accenting Dorthe’s incredible leads while she elevated a poignant lyric that showcased the idea that as different as we all are from one another, we’re also that much the same.

With a very stripped back, subtle rendition of “Postcard from Paris,” Cohen closed out his portion of the night with a subdued flavor to the familiar hit by The Band Perry that gave the song the new dynamic and fresh feel that gripped the audience as they mouthed along the incredible lyrics of the chorus with Jeff.

“G’day,” exclaimed Zoee in her heavy Australian accent. “I’m obviously not from around here, but I’m from a little place at the bottom of Australia called Tasmania! And the next stop from there is Antarctica so you could say that I’m from way down south!” she said, showing her witty sense of humor as the crowd laughed with her as she opened her part of the night with “Castles in the Sand,” her amazingly well-crafted, current single that carries a throwback tilted adult contemporary pop style that fuses with modern country branding as she takes us through her notebook diary reminiscing on how far she’s come since first writing down her thoughts in it.

Before playing the song, completely humble about its recent chart success herself, James House (who is producing Zoee’s newest batch of music) gratefully shared that the song has already secured the number one spot in the Netherlands, has gone number two in New Zealand, and is in the top 5 in Australia, bringing out a huge round of supportive applause from the crowd.

“This next one came out a couple months ago,” told Zoee. “I ended up breaking up with my boyfriend and decided to write this beautiful love song about how all that turned out,” she said as she played “It Ain’t Love (If It Doesn’t Hurt),” running the register of her vocals as she slid them skillfully into the emotional tug of the lyrics through the drive of the verses, which made it that much more powerful when she belted out the strong chorus.

With a pop sensibility blending into its soft rhythm, Zoee perfectly built her vocals alongside lyrics that sing of the swooning, overwhelming feelings of falling head over heels on “Supernova,” before floating on the breeze of “All Mine,” a brand-new song that instantly pulled in the crowd with memorable lyrics that sing of owning the mistakes you’ve made and learning from them, as Zoee truly owned her own as she expertly moved her vocals to match the tone of the lyrics, radiating a smile as she metaphorically shrugged her shoulders in an “it is what it is” type of fashion. 

Sticking with newer material, Zoee left a lasting impression on the crowd with her incredible vocals as she closed her part of the night with the slower, mid-tempo “Anytime Anywhere,” utilizing the power of her voice to grip the insatiably built for radio, straight-up love song that she told was co-written with House and Kyle Jacobs.

“I moved to Nashville from California back in 1988, and I started getting better because I got around great songwriters like you’re hearing here tonight,” James House shared, pausing for the crowd to cheer as he graciously thanked each songwriter for sharing their music tonight. “I was writing with Sony at the time, and my sister was going through hell with this guy. It was one of those writing sessions where we just poured out the emotions into the song, but we knew if we could get a women to sing it, it would be really powerful,” told House, taking us straight into the mind of the songwriter, as he put an exclamation point on an entire evening of amazing songwriting with “A Broken Wing,” bringing the Listening Room to a complete standstill as the crowd listened with awe to the amazingly crafted song that became the career defining signature for Martina McBride.


1) Ain’t That Lonely Yet (James House)

2) Play Me Like The Records You Love (Jamie Floyd)

3) The Way You Look At Me (Jeff Cohen)

4) Castles in the Sand (Zoee)

5) To Be with You (James House)

6) For Months Now (Jamie Floyd)

7) Crazy For This Girl (Jeff Cohen)

8) It Aint’ Love (If It Doesn’t Hurt) (Zoee)

9) Anything For Love (James House)

10) Sleighing It (Jamie Floyd)

11) The Truth About Romeo (Jeff Cohen)

12) Supernova (Zoee)

13) In A Week or Two (James House)

14) Sad Girls Do (Jamie Floyd)

15) We’re The Same (Hush)

16) All Mine (Zoee)

17) This Is Me Missing You (James House)

18) I Know You (Jamie Floyd)

19) Postcard from Paris (Jeff Cohen)

20) Anytime, Anywhere (Zoee)

21) A Broken Wing (James House)

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