Show Reviews

 

MELISSA LIVINGSTONE, SAMEE CANNON, & PAGE MACKENZIE

Undiscovered Nashville's “Pre-Famous”

Thursday April 27, 2023

@ The Clubhouse at Sonny’s in Nashville, TN

(Review by: Jeffrey Kurtis)

Thursday nights in Nashville have become the unofficial start of the busy weekends in town. Tourists flock to Lower Broadway by the thousands to bask in the neon lights and experience the insane amount of cover bands, all melding together into one traffic jam that often keeps the locals away.

But just a few blocks north of that hustle and bustle, in the hot rising Germantown area, sits a place that’s tucked away where the locals can go to congregate together: Sonny’s Patio Pub & Refuge.

Three distinctive areas of the establishment all offer very different atmospheres; the main room which is flanked by its massive bar and big screen TV’s, the chilled-out patio complete with backyard swings, firepits, and oversize games, and the quaint Clubhouse which offers a listening room type aura that surrounds you with its cozy living room setting.

It’s in this room that Undiscovered Nashville presents their ‘Pre-Famous’ songwriter round, providing a stage for some of the strongest emerging talent in the vast writing community while gifting patrons with the opportunity to experience amazing original music.

Recent songwriter/artists who have graced the spotlight have included Sophia Scott, Hudson Valley, Bri Fletcher, Hasting, Stephanie Ryann, Shantaia, and Whitney Miller.

During the 8:30 round, the third of four on the night, Melissa Livingstone, Samee Cannon, and Page Mackenzie took the stage in a showcase that carried an expected ebb and flow that naturally transcended from the trio of writers who combined their individual talents earlier this year on Cannon’s infectiously addictive single, “Salt & Sugar.”

Giving a nod to Page and Cannon while setting in motion the vibe of the night that would put their friendship and collaborations to the forefront, Livingstone opened the round with the calloused hands, blue collar graveled, “Working Man,” which she introduced as being the first song that her, Page, and Samee had written together. 

Without spoken introduction, Cannon allowed the richness of her voice to impact her modern branded, 90’s country influenced swagger as she slid into “Out of the Blue,” capturing the audience to an audible silence as she praised the one who showed up in her life when least expected and flipped it upside down in all the best possible ways.

“So…I dated a guitar player, and it didn’t go well,” Mackenzie candidly shared as she delivered her popular 2022 release, “His Guitar,” pouring pure emotion into her vocal as she wove through the heartbreaking lyric of coming up second best to his mistress of music.

“I’m originally from a very small town in Canada called Ucluelet, and when I was seventeen, I moved to the city with my family,” shared Melissa. “But I would still look in cars to see if I knew anyone and that’s sort of where this song came from,” she told as she tapped into the singer/songwriter kissed vibe of “Small Town Thing,” hushing the crowd as she nostalgically reminisced of holding tight to the morals and values of her small-town, neighborly upbringing no matter where she lands.

“I’ve recently found that I love the coastal cowgirl aesthetic,” spoke Samee enthusiastically as she took us straight to her home state of South Carolina on “Caroline,” praising all the little things she loves about the Palmetto state over the top of a catchy, float on the breeze melody that allowed her vocal to impressively tilt into its lower dips and higher strikes, putting on a purely gifted display of her keen know-how and delivery of the proper emotional feelings through her voice.

“Well, after that last heartbreak I told you about, I met someone and had what we’d call today “a situationship,” told Page. “But he was what I needed in that moment. He reminded me of my worth, but unfortunately, he had to move to Dallas and so I wrote him this to say have a good time,” she candidly shared as she provided a tempo drive to outline the power of her voice on what is essentially a heartfelt thank you letter to the one who changed everything for her, “Dallas.”

“I’m a huge Yellowstone fan,” shared Melissa with a smile as cheers rang out from the crowd. “I binged a couple seasons in a week, which is crazy…but I started writing this and so this is my Yellowstone song,” she introduced as she punched into a gritty, western kissed melody that allowed her voice to add the perfect amount of gravel in its tone as she brought us through flashes of the cowboy way of life and living embedded into the lyric.

After surveying the crowd on whether they wanted someone new or old, Cannon delivered on their request with the brand-new song, “Old Trucks and Young Love,” hushing her vocal into the slower paced, though toe-tapping groove, as she used incredible comparisons that saw her expertly painting pictures that spoke to the toughness of having to give up your old truck being akin to breaking up.

“We’re gonna end with the song that brought us all together,” told Page as the trio slid into a rousing rendition of the pure bop, “Salt & Sugar,” stamping down a bold exclamation point on a round which saw each individually stand out uniquely on their own, while also showing their camaraderie as a unit.

What’s always so amazing during rounds that bring together such a tight-knit group of friends, is the subtle little ways that you witness them becoming each other’s biggest cheerleaders (and backup singers) throughout the night, intentionally listening to each song, praising the ones they hadn’t heard yet, and toe-tapping their boots along with the melodies.

That infectiousness from stage naturally resonates across the crowd as well, which not only pulls them deeper into each song, but also invites them to become part of the friendship circle alongside them, giving a strong personal connection between artist and crowd that makes you want to come back and see them again; something Cannon said would be happening again soon on the Undiscovered Nashville stage!

FULL SET LIST
1) Working Man (Melissa Livingstone)
2) Out of the Blue (Samee Cannon)
3) His Guitar (Page Mackenzie)
4) Small Town Thing (Melissa Livingstone)
5) Caroline (Samee Cannon)
6) Dallas (Page Mackenzie)
7) Montana Skies (Melissa Livingstone)
8) Old Trucks and Young Love (Samee Cannon)
9) Salt & Sugar (Samee/Page/Melissa)

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