Another snowy night in NYC couldn’t keep the throngs of regulars and excited newcomers from checking out the March club night of Communion at Rockwood Music Hall. Launching right into their set, Del Water Gap held the crowd’s attention with their combination of acoustic elements, horns, and upbeat drums. Singer/songwriter Holden Jaffe seemed to lose himself in the music, prompting everyone to do the same.
Having come off playing their largest show yet, 5-piece band, Stone Cold Fox got things started at Stage 2. Running through a slew of their better-known songs got the banter started and hands clapping immediately. Playing a newer song called “Contagion” gave us lucky fans a glimpse into what we can expect from the band in the very near future.
Downstairs in Stage 3, South African singer Connell Cruise sang his heart out, with beautiful accompaniment of acoustic guitar. Armed with boyish good looks, and heaping amount of charm, Connell packed the room and easily won the surly NY crowd over. Connell has been in the city working on his international debut album, so be sure to check it out when it’s released.
Over at Stage 1, I got to see one of the funniest and quirkiest musicians that I’ve come across in a while, named Emilyn Brodsky. From her short, blonde bob, to her striped dress, Emilyn was big on one-liners and rambling jokes that worked well with the punchy crowd-goers in the room. Singing selection from her album Emilyn Eats Her Feelings, her deadpan delivery worked well with the cheeky lyrics.
Back at Stage 2, the band, simply named Howard, was working their magic. Lead singer Howard Feibusch used distorted vocals with heavy electronic effects, drum pads, and threw an acoustic guitar in the mix to create one of the most unique sounds I’ve heard in a while. I loved them immediately, and I wanted the songs to go on forever.
Next up, AMFMS played a frenzied set, bathed in dim blue lights. I saw a ton of hair whipping back and forth. Their music was full of fuzzy guitars, and lo-fi drums. They took every opportunity they could to melt a few faces before their set ended.
Alberta Cross set the crowd buzzing as they got onstage, complete with a 2-piece horn section, and pianist. The lowering of the piano from the rafters always causes quite a stir at Rockwood. With cited influences from The Band, and Neil Young, Alberta Cross’ music came across completely organic and sincerely heartfelt. Any traces of Swedish born Petter Ericson Stakee’s accent melted away into lyrics of their songs, and helped us all to visualize we were nested away at a bar in Nashville.
Next, Son Little took the stage and made short work of capturing our attention, apart from a small pocket of chatty people near the door that he artfully, and hilariously singled out. Singing tracks from his EP, Things I Forgot, the themes of love and pain ran rampant as he poured all the emotion into his voice. “Cross My Heart,” “River,” and “Your Love Will Blow Me Away” got the biggest response, clearly the most popular of the night’s selections. Son Little could have been singing to the smallest of crowds but I doubt that would have affected how much emotion he poured out of himself.
Ending the night was Little Racer at Stage 1, who despite the hour, had tons of energy to spare. Their surf-rock sound was the perfect way to end the night, and send us all out into the snowy cold, a little bit happier.
Article by: Lesley Keller