Who doesn’t love a good house show? Getting a glimpse into strangers’ medicine cabinets? Count me in!
Truthfully, house shows offer such a unique experience, and I’ve yet to attend one that didn’t leave a lasting impression. Wednesday was no exception, and in fact was one of the best. Especially on this day, while our country is in a state of civil unrest, following the results of the election. Nothing brings people together like music, and Aaron Lee Tasjan and Brian Wright, hosted by Cowboy & Lady (Tyler-James Kelly and Jess Powers) in their home on the west end of Providence, did just that. With swagger.
Amidst several friends, and friends of friends, many wearing the Tasjan-Wright 2020 buttons made and handed out by local powerhouse Julie Rhodes, Cowboy & Lady welcomed guests with a potent set. The chemistry between these two is palpable (and flat out enviable… #lifegoals, anyone?), and lends to such genuineness in their music. The space was full of warmth, and though slightly exhausted from watching the election the night before, it was the perfect environment for everyone to decompress. Like-minded folk coping via subversive folk rock.
Following the beautiful, albeit brief, Cowboy & Lady set, the combination of Tasjan and Wright, both out of Nashville, couldn’t have been more fitting for this crowd. The mastery and sincerity of Wright’s songwriting blended with the colorful stories and revolutionary sound of Tasjan set the pace for heartstring tugs, laughter, humility, and some incredible licks. Seeing them perform together, with such fluency and authenticity, cradled and surely inspired the souls of the politically deflated in the room.
Hearing Tasjan’s brand new material from his latest release, Silver Tears, in this intimate setting was the ideal way to be introduced, or refreshed… bar none. Speaking of bars, if I had to pick a favorite Tasjan song of the night, I’d give it to 12 Bar Blues, where he took us on a journey, of watering holes, waitresses, eavesdropping, and Hootie. What’s not to love? A close second place was Ready to Die, where Tasjan flexed his vocals, and defiance.
For Wright, his song Friend hit home on this day, given current events, and being in a room made up of friends. Music can make friends feel like family, really. On a slightly darker take, Wright’s Maria Sugarcane aired that warm folk feel, with a haunting twist, and remarkable storytelling.
To close the show, Aaron, Brian and Tyler-James collaborated on a few classic tunes, which solidified the perfectness of this night. Highlights included: the all-ages sing-along on Drivin n Cryin’s Straight to Hell; rocking The Replacements Can’t Hardly Wait; and the transcendental cover of Bob Dylan’s Shooting Star. There was something so tender in Tasjan’s voice, singing this tale of love lost, accompanied by Wright and Kelly as this masterful and effortless trio. If you were in that room and weren’t incredibly moved… check your pulse.
Acquaint or reacquaint yourselves with Aaron Lee Tasjan, Brian Wright, and Cowboy & Lady. Now more than ever, is a good time to feed the soul with good music… better than any medicine in anyone’s cabinet!
Thank you to Tyler-James and Jess for graciously hosting and entertaining us.
Check out some of the photos captured by Steve of Boston Concert Photography.