Tuesday night I exited the mundane world of the present and was transported into the past. The McKittrick hotel greeted me with fog illuminated by spotlights and dazed Sleep No More attendees emerging onto the street still clutching their beaked masks. Beyond a brick encased staircase lays the hotel’s “jazz-inspired concert hall,” Manderley Bar. Dimly lit by glowing candles on small tables and draped in red velvet curtains, I began to feel overcome by prohibition era vibes.
I ventured behind the fabric and into the green room to find Joanna Teters and her band getting ready for their performance that night. My body was backed into the corner near the couch as I barely avoided instruments coming out of their cases in preparation for their upcoming musical endeavors. Joanna sat by the mirror writing up the set list and creating musical mountains with her vocal chords. She even continued to warm up while still working her magic in front of my camera as I took advantage of the beautiful curtains and snapped a few portraits of her before she took the stage.
As the clock struck half past ten, Joanna positioned herself center stage as she opened with “Ride With You,” the opening track to her debut solo album, Warmer When It Rains. Known to float between sultry jazz and blues-infused reggae, she filled the room that night with a lot of soul.
Her set included mainly songs off Warmer When It Rains, including my personal favorites “Through the Night” and “So Easy to Love.” She even slipped in a new song, “Day One,” coming out next week.
The haze from the smoke machine danced in the rays from the stage lights just as Joanna’s voice danced through the bar, wrapping each person up and twirling them into a dip before bouncing back toward the microphone. As Joanna ended her set, she gracefully left the stage, slipping back behind the curtains, leaving the band with the last word.
Article: Merissa Blitz