As a late-comer to the local music game I have to pay homage to someone that’s been doing it and doing it well for years. As host of KPRi’s homegrown hour on Sunday nights, Cathryn Beeks gives a voice to lots of great local talents over the radio waves. And Thursday nights she brings the same magic to The Go Lounge. With her velvety voice, Beeks introduces an eclectic group of musicians, encourages them to promote their endeavors, and offers a welcoming presence to fans new and old. My kinda chick.
I attended this past Thursday’s Homegrown event to see my friend Ezekiel Jay who put out his debut record Activity earlier this year. Before Zeke’s set I caught a solo guitarist and singer, Julean Rai, whose soulful playing was a great start to the evening. Following Julean was a They Might Be Giants-esque duo called The Mighty Sun. Fun, funky, and quick-paced, they offered another musical variance to the night.
Ezekiel Jay took the stage a little after 9pm, managing to fit himself, a guitarist, a bassist and a drummer all on one tiny stage. Playing a bunch of my favorites off his record, Zeke and the musicians he assembled put forth great energy and passion. Working out some kinks with the equipment and a new set of pedals, he managed to do it all with a grin and looked at ease as front man. Guitar solos by Ryan Irby added a special touch and garnered applause. Backed by solid percussion and bass from Toby Ahrens and Brock Smith respectively- the musical elements had a well-rounded feel to them. I would have liked to hear more backing vocals on songs like “Set Yourself Apart” but the tune still managed to become my new favorite of Ezekiel’s. “I Feel Fabulous” and “Hazel” were a couple of other highlights to both myself and the crowd that packed The Go Lounge, seemingly just for this set. And in a delightful twist of fate the set was extended when another act cancelled- so folks got to hear even more of what my friend can do.
I’ll definitely be back for more Homegrown Thursday’s with Cathryn and will be catching Ezekiel Jay with Not Machines and Mexican Hexagon at Soda Bar on Monday, April 16. I suggest you get wise and do the same.
Sounds to Sample from Ezekiel Jay: