By Veronica Lee
As fall slowly turns to winter, the chill in the air doesn’t hold back the fans from lining the staircase of the basement entrance. The Soiled Dove Underground is located below The Tavern at Lowry, a venue with a diverse music scene one would not expect just below an upscale sports bar and restaurant. Entering the dimly lit space, the room is filled with conversation, none straying too far from the topic of the thing that happened the day before.
Lingering on everyone’s conscious is the realization that, despite personal beliefs, the nation is on edge. Donald Trump has been voted in as President-Elect, and it can’t help but be the focus of many. And yet tonight, despite conversations of fear and uneasiness, there is a collection of a sold-out room that has come together under the unity of at least one thing, a love of live music.
And here so enters our opening artist for the evening, Tony Lucca. Originally from Detroit, Lucca now resides in Nashville and is known for his feuds on The Voice and the now 10-year anniversary of his album Canyon Songs. Yet with an unassuming mosey on to the stage, he quietly collects his guitar and walks confidently to the microphone. Lights don’t dim quite yet, but the attention of the room draws to this single person who is prepared to help the audience forget about anything going on beyond this room and this moment.
After a crowd captivating opening song, Tony utters the sentence none too shyly “I needed this today,” and the head nods amongst the room don’t go unnoticed. He ties beautifully the analogy of being in a nation that is divided to the feeling of being in a house that is divided, when love goes awry in a multitude of ways, and croons to the concept and song of Surrender.
Once the audience is fully bought in to his talents and stories, feeling the heart ache of lost loves and memories of better days, Tony breaks the tension easily by infusing a little hope in the breakup songs, Lucca states, because “you gotta get over it.”Tony Lucca finishes the opening set with the caliber of talent and presence of a majorly polished professional and he leaves the stage with a crowd requesting for more.
What a great energy for a seasoned artist as Tyrone Wells and his accompanying band to enter upon. They bounce right in and begin with a few upbeat songs that have the audience singing along to what he would consider not quite hit songs, but songs that some people like. Wells’ website humbly boasts of the long list of credentials of TV show soundtracks, #1 songs on iTunes and an extensive music library, he seems to have a few more fans than the modest artist would lead one to believe.
Tonight, there is a collection of older and newer songs and unique covers of popular songs, there is a wonderful pulse and balance that remains consistent and uplifting. A proud family man, Tyrone frequently mentions his two young daughters with a boasting love and joy, and while the evening feels light, there is still a heaviness that each person carried into this room that doesn’t go unnoticed. Like his predecessor Lucca, Wells reminds us that even though times feel uncertain, LOVE conquers all fears.
He takes a moment to share a project he is working on, a children’s book that is to become a cartoon for the screen, which is currently a kickstarter project. A song he and his daughter collaborated on, The Whatamagump, that is played from his phone to get the full effect of adorableness. Talk about a heart-melt moment, the audience swoons even deeper as he and the band shift directions and rock out with a cover of Radioactive with harmonies and melodies unmatched.
We truly get to see the personality of Tyrone unfold onstage, he tells stories of being a wedding singer and jumping out of bushes to help desired grooms propose to hopeful fiancées. He tells a story of his grandfather in the song “Carolina Blues”, speaking of how he remembers the crystal blue eyes of a man he admired and has even added a verse or two since becoming a father himself.
As per fan request from off stage, he even musters up the strength to offer an acapella Yodel, yes, Tyrone even Yodels.As the band exits, he finishes the set with a couple acoustic songs, and finally slipping on his harmonica. All eyes are fixed on Tyrone as his powerful vocals and strength in his guitar strumming keep the room silent, eventually he steps off the mic and allows his voice to fill the space. Resonating from the front of the stage to the very back walls of The Soiled Dove, all are left speechless and chilled. Truly, a beautiful night of storytelling and musicianship, and exactly what we all needed on a rather difficult day in America.
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