Tonight was Canadian Tia McGraff's Jumpin' Hot Club debut and what a debut it was. Along with husband and ace guitarist, Colorado native, Tommy Parham, Tia took the audience on a whistle stop tour of her musical catalogue. With stories and banter aplenty, she owned the stage and had the audience in the palms of her hands from the very beginning. They were visibly both captivated and moved as Tia introduced them to her stunning and diverse vocals, with such varied songs as The FIre, Reckonin', Wing Walker, Radical Road, Crazy Beautiful, It Can't Rain Everyday (written with recent UK visitor James House,) The One I've Waited For, Break These Chains and the Cajun flavoured Catfish Deacon, which had everyone singing along at the end of their set.
I have rarely, if ever, seen an audience so spellbound by a support act; there was no talking, no moving around, everyone was listening, hanging on her every word. Her voice just cut through the silence like sun through rain. Magical. Watch this space in 2017, Newcastle!
Cale Tyson, whose roots are in Townes Van Zandt's hometown of Fort Worth, Texas, was a new name to me, but he and his band took to the stage to deliver an energy and banter filled performance which all present seemed to very much enjoy. He is what is, it seems, currently classed as part of the wave of 'bro' country.' Mixing up new and old material, he joked about the original name of his first CD, Introducing Cale Tyson. I guess, in all fairness, it did what it said! Varying his style between country, rockabilly and a rock edge, he showed different sides to his musical personality. Backed by a skilled band, who displayed their talents without ever drowning Cale out. Andrew Hunt on bass guitar kept the beat going in style, whilst I particularly enjoyed watching the drums (Pete Lindbergh) and pedal steel (Bret Resnick), which at times were moving so fast, it was a mesmerising blur. Standout songs included Easy and Why You Been Gone So Long.
I suspect that Cale Tyson is a name we will be hearing more of here in the UK.
There are only so many hours in a day and only so many gigs we can get to. We'd really like to expand our national coverage of the live scene as it remains the life blood of music.
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