Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chris Mathews Jr., Abi Grace and Jeremy Serwer at the Triple Door Musiquarium Lounge

Dawn (a newly found semi-distant relative) got in touch and pointed out that a friend of hers was playing a free set at the Musiquarium lounge at the Triple Door in Seattle. Dana and I headed down to Seattle and made an evening of it with dinner at the Mecca Cafe and stopped by the Queen Anne Easy Street Records store to listen to Minus the Bear do an in-store set, then headed to the Triple Door.

The Musiquarium Lounge is the bar at the entry to the Triple Door, it's "upstairs" from the auditorium. The Musiquarium Lounge hosts free music several times a week. Chris Mathews Jr. came out and played a solo set first. This one's a cover of "Mr Soul" by Neal Young. Nice song done well, good sight lines for the video, but the venue is slightly noisy. not too bad for a bar, I suppose. While he's singing and playing it mostly drowns out the noise.
Mathews did several covers including another Neil Young tune "Hey Hey, My My" that I enjoyed. I linked to my video of "Hey Hey My My" but I recorded it form the table we were sitting at, so the crowd noise is much more prominent. Chris also did this nice cover of My Morning Jackets "I Will Be There When You Die" In his intro he says "I should've brought a band" but I think he does fine doing a solo set. The material he chose to play helps, and his voice is clear and carries the songs along nicely.

Mathews runs Joonior Studios which is also worth checking out.

Next up was Abi Grace also doing a solo set, singing and playing acoustic guitar. I think this is her own composition, but I'm not sure; in any event it was unfamiliar to me. Nice, slightly sad song, her voice is quite expressive in this one, very well done.
This next song was introduced as her Dad's favorite song: Given the theme of empowerment and growth in spite of life's challenges, I can see why it would be her Dad's favorite. I enjoyed Abi's set, she writes nice songs and mostly avoids repetition - somewhat unusual nowadays, makes them worth a very careful listen.

Jeremy Serwer was the final performer of the evening and he stuck to the pattern of solo singer with an acoustic guitar. Nice song, different approach but I'm not sure I have the vocabulary to describe exactly what is different. I suppose this song is more direct, like he's singing it directly to you, and the guitar playing is a little more varied, less chords/rhythm, more a slightly lead approach.
In this next song I enjoy one little detail: he taps his foot in time to the song, giving it a bit more rhythm. Nice little touch, adds quite a bit to the song for me. I enjoy the chord transitions and how it plays off of his voice, too. Tasty stuff, having live music played for you always makes things better, and the intimate singer/songwriter performances enhanced the experience at the Musiquarium - heck, they made the experience.

I enjoyed all three performers, and the conversation and socializing with my wife and our newly found distant relative and even newer friend introduced to us at the show was great. The szechuan bean side was also very tasty, all in all it was a great evening of music and company.

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