The Midwest was well-represented last Friday night, April 1st at Bowery Ballroom with Ohio-native Jessica Lea Mayfield and opener Daniel Martin Moore from Kentucky.
Moore’s music, which has a very rustic, Appalachian folk/country feel, sounded soft and beautiful. His backing band, featuring soft electric guitar, bass, keys, banjo, and drums with soft bristley brushes, accompanied Moore nicely on his mix of spiritual songs.
Though “Needn’t Say a Thing” from his duet album with Ben Sollee, Dear Companion, and “Cool of the Day,” from his most recent album of the same name, sounded beautiful and heartfelt, his best song of the evening was certainly “Dark Road.” During this last song of his set, Moore, his banjo player and drummer came down into the audience to jam. Surrounded by fans, the band played this old timey country tune with Moore’s drummer stomping and clapping the percussion parts, with the audience eventually joining in.
Jessica Lea Mayfield kicked off her set with “Our Hearts Are Wrong,” a fantastic tune from her most recent album, Tell Me. With 5 inch gold platform stilettos and a short platinum ‘do, this tiny 21-year-old girl’s big voice with a southern drawl laid out some of the saddest, darkest, but most beautiful lyrics I’ve heard. With opening lyrics like, “I’m almost too lonely to speak,” her song “Sleepless” has absolutely beautiful phrasing and melodies. Her voice is such a unique instrument though– a soft southern twang mixed with a low bit of grunge and a touch of little-girl/Joanna Newsom cuteness. This young, extremely talented singer is certainly someone to watch out for!