Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Aaron Embry Begins April Residency At Hotel Cafe - April 1, 2014

Tuesday night, April 1, was the first night that Aaron Embry introduced his new material during a bi-weekly residency at Hollywood's Hotel Cafe which will continue throughout the rest of this month. He performed for an audience full of friends and acquaintances in a set that sounded as intimate and comforting as sitting around a fireplace in someone's home. His eagerness to get these songs out there was matched by his wide-eyed shyness about singing lyrics that are even more personal and deeply felt than much that has come before. The small figure on the stage suddenly swamped the place as he sang and sustained a total grip on the audience.

The unabashed delight he takes from singing a line like, simply, "I love you Nikki" to his wife, he explained, becomes a declaration that strengthens their bond each time he says it. Revealing a window into his creative process, he shared stories about each song. Especially touching was the sing-song rhymes and burbling vocals for the song dedicated to daughter, Mayla. It was so personal it felt like eavesdropping.

Accompanying himself on the guitar and harmonica, his voice is still the wondrously flexible instrument it's always been. With, perhaps, a bit more tenderness as these deeply felt songs demand. The thrill of his first public performance of these works was transferred directly from performer to observer as both Aaron and his fans and friends were giddy with delight. Many of the songs deal with his firm grip on his spirituality which informs and comforts his soul and ignites his creativity.

As a finale, he put down his guitar and moved over to the piano for a couple of more familiar song which, nonetheless, were beautifully delivered with a freshness and clarity that made them feel new. On April 15th and 29th, Aaron Embry will be returning to Hotel Cafe to further develop the live performances of this material and I expect to be there every step of the way.