Last night I was invited to see a show at The Basement by my friend Mandy Cook (see my last blog entry to read about her CD release party last month) to see Scott Mulvahill play. I had no idea what to expect as I was not familiar with his music. All I knew is that he played upright bass and that was right up my alley. If you are a basshead like I am, then you have to check him out.
When he got on the stage it was just him and his bass….no band or accompaniment. He started the show with a haunting and moving cover of “Wake Me Up” by Avicci and Aloe Black. It was an excellent way to start the show as it is a wildly popular song, but he put his own twist on it. After that the rest of his band joined him on stage to start playing songs off of his “unreleased” album. The first song, “Top of the Stairs” was very catchy and could easily be a pop hit, but then he moved into a more bass heavy bluegrass feel with the next couple of tracks. Scott’s “day job” is playing bass with Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder. Last year they were on tour with Bruce Hornsby. After the tour, Scott starting singing lead on “20/20 Vision” by Gene Autry. I’m glad that Ricky gave him that chance because he sang it beautifully. If you are unfamiliar with that song you can watch the video of Scott performing it here.
One of the songs that stood out to me was “Sweet Symsonia.” For this one song only he put down his bass and picked up the guitar. The only way I can describe this song is melty. By that I mean I was left in a puddle under my seat by the end of it. He wrote it about the town in Kentucky where his girlfriend grew up. If he weren’t taken, after that song, I would have tried to snatch him up. If every woman in the place wasn’t swooning by the end of that song then I have no idea what turns them on. After getting my shit together and basically mopping myself up off the floor I got to enjoy “Fighting for the Wrong Side,” which he played solo. There is just something so magical about a singer and a bass. It’s so raw and makes you really listen.
Imagine, for a second, that John Mayer and Paul Simon had a baby. That is what I think Scott Mulvahill’s voice sounds like. So it is only natural for him to sing a Paul Simon song. He completely crushed “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.” It was awesome to watch. As a bass player myself, it is hard enough to sing and play bass at the same time, let alone master an intricate bass line like you typically find in a Paul Simon song, and crush it. I was thoroughly impressed.
The whole time he was playing I just wanted to get up and dance. Especially to “Gold Plated Lie.” It is definitely a song that should get you on your feet. The last official song of the set was called “Himalayas.” It was my favorite performance of the night. It was the only song that I took video of. You can see the video here on my facebook page.
Even though it was a Monday night and all I wanted to do after work was curl up on the couch in my jammies and watch Netflix, I’m glad that I went out to see this. The Basement is always a great place to watch local musicians and I will definitely be catching more of Scott’s shows in the future. Excuse me while I cool myself off after watching this show.
You can find Scott on his website http://www.scottmulvahill.com/. He’s also on twitter @Mulvaskills, and you can find more videos of him on his youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/ScottMulvahill.
And as always you can find me on twitter @CS_MusicBlog.