Last night I went to an awesome venue I have never been to before called The High Watt to see the mesmerizing Larissia Murphy release her amazing EP called “Speak Your Mind.” The venue was small but spacious and had decent sound (which is hard to find in this city sometimes!) and a fairly well stocked bar. The lineup was an impressive group of women who know their way around the stage.
First up was the always entertaining Mandy Cook. Larissia was one of the opening acts at Mandy’s CD release party (see my first blog post) so Mandy returned the favor and didn’t disappoint. This time instead of a band, Mandy brought up her friend Brodie Hutchins to accompany her on electric guitar. This was the first time the two have played together and it was awesome. She started her set with “Flip A Coin” and then ended with what I would call her signature song, “Mississippi Voodoo.” Of course Larissia joined her on stage to do another rendition of their cover of The Boss’ “Dancing In The Dark.” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, these ladies NEED to collaborate more often. They both enhance each other so well and they just have a natural chemistry. All of her original songs are on her new CD called See and you can buy it on itunes.
Next up was the sultry Sara Jean Kelley. One of the first songs Sara sang was an original called “Cowboy.” This was a slow, old-school country type song. It reminded me of Patsy Cline. The next song on her list was “Last One To Know.” It was the darkest one of her set and very bluesy. Her last song of the night was done in Christmas spirit. She channeled her inner Elvis and crooned out her version of “Blue Christmas.” It was a festive way to end her set. You can buy Sara’s new EP The Waiting Place on itunes.
The next act was Larissia’s college roommate and best friend Sarah Buxton. Sarah has been writing music and performing for a really long time and is no stranger to the stage. Her set was short but powerful. It consisted of two songs. The first song was called “Don’t Want You Back” (I have to guess because I’m not entirely sure). It was sassy like a Miranda Lambert song. The second song was what Sarah said was “a song about love, race, and being welcomed in a sacred space.” I believe it was called “House of Love.” Even though she is about to give birth in 2 weeks, she crushed it and put on a powerful performance.
The act to introduce the lady of the night was her friend Emily West. Emily is an accomplished musician in Nashville with a crazy good voice who was also featured on America’s Got Talent in 2014 (in fact she finished 2nd!). Her set was also short (too short in my opinion!). She started with an acapella version of her song “Why Do Lovers Leave” which is about a fucker who left her (I don’t know who would ever leave her with that voice..I hope this wasn’t really about her!). It was an incredible performance and you could seriously hear a pin drop because everyone was enthralled with her voice that they ceased all conversation.Her next song really spoke to me. It’s called “Everyone Is Fighting a Battle of Their Own.” I can relate to this song so well. As a person who has privately struggled with bouts of anxiety and depression I appreciated the lyrics to this song so much. Emily has a few EPs but her newest album All For You is a collection of covers and you can buy it on itunes.
Finally the main attraction entered the stage with commanding stage presence. She brought Mandy Cook back up on stage to sing back up. First song was “Mexican Flowers.” This jam is one of my favorites on the album. It is full of imagery and paints an awesome picture with the lyrics.Next she pulled out a Dwight Yoakam cover called “Guitars and Cadillacs” and got everyone dancing. She kept the dance train going with my favorite song off the EP (which she co-wrote with Sarah Buxton), “Cold Shoulder.” That song is about a significant other partying all day/night and coming home to no sympathy. She then sang both “Love Drives Everyone Crazy” and “No Town” back to back. Even though “Speak Your Mind” is the title track, the first single off the EP is “Late One Night.” This is my other favorite song on the album. Her voice reminds me of a mix between Sheryl Crow and Patsy Cline on this track. Very smooth.After Larissia played all of the songs on her EP she kept the party rolling with a couple covers. First up was “Let Me Roll It” by Wings where she brought out Sarah Buxton, Emily West, and her husband to help sing backup. It was so fun to watch all of them just rock out. Then they followed it up with the Gram Parson’s song “Ooh Las Vegas.” The last song of the night was Larissia’s original throwback style Christmas song called “Santa’s Little Darlin’.” It is seriously my new favorite Christmas song and y’all should definitely check it out.
Last night was such a great show. The lineup was fantastic. Larissia looked like Nashville’s version of Florence Welch and had the stage presence of someone who has been doing this for 20 years. Every single artist that played on the stage that night deserves all the success in the world. I can tell that this EP is the first of many great things to come for Ms. Murphy.
Here is where you can find all of the other artists mentioned on social media:
Mandy Cook: @MandyCookMusic (twitter), themandycook (snapchat), and facebook
Sara Jean Kelley: @sarajeankelley (twitter), facebook
Sarah Buxton: @sarahbuxton (twitter), facebook
Emily West: @emilywestmusic (twitter), facebook
And as always you can follow me on twitter @CS_MusicBlog. I am also on snapchat at no-h86 and instagram at sperrone86!