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    Sarah Jaffe with guitarist at Headliners Music Hall
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    All Photos by: Brandi Story

    Not enough can be said about the amazing talent of folk singer/songwriter, Joan Shelley who kicked off last nights festivities. Shelley's intimate melodies silenced the entire music hall with a type of rich southern comfort that could be comparable, but not limited, to the sounds of Alison Kraus. Band mate, Cheyenne Maria Mize brilliantly accompanied Shelley throughout the performance with fiddle and harmonies. The due made way for Toledo Bend to take the spot light as they closed their set with an amazing display of  acapella                                                                                                                                    

    The southern Indiana 5 piece, Toledo Bend came across the river last night to prove not always is the most energetic band saved for last.  Their performance basically exempted everything I, personally, like to see when watching a band play live and gave an excellent definition to the phrase, Folk/Rock.  They had spot on harmonies between lead singer Kacy Machir, bassist Adam Hamilton and violinist Caroline Petrik.  Lead guitarist, A.J. White played with an unprecedented precision. White knew exactly when and where his lead was appropriate as he weaved in and out of jams. I distinctively admire this attribute in players because it is not always seen in performers of similar skill. Drummer Kyle Ferguson showed the same skill in his playing as he knew exactly when less would do more and when the time called for a gut buster. They reminded me of a Manchester Orchestra meets The Raconteurs, but with better guitar solos. The reason for the title of this article is simply because I feel Toledo Bend would have been better suited to close the evening due to their more upbeat nature.                                                 

    Sarah Jaffe, who is probably cursing me right now, put on just as good of a show as the musicians that preceded her.  She performed songs from her new record "The Body Wins", showing off a more hip-hop based Indie-Rock vibe. I really enjoyed their mixture of both digital beats and live percussion alongside Jaffe's bass riffs which I still can't figure out how she got to sound so good. Seriously, listen to her tracks or go see her live.  You will see what I mean. Last night it was clear that the Sarah and her band had a blast playing amongst some of Louisville's finest players.                                                                         

    All in all the evening was great. The line up of the acts was such a small notion I contemplated even bringing it up, BUT I thought I would take it as a  opportunity to shed a much deserving light on the talent that exist right here in our home town.  Joan Shelley, Toledo Bend, and Sarah Jaffe all have local and regional dates that can be found through Facebook or their websites. I highly recommend checking out all of them.

    Laren J. Rapp's picture

    About Laren J. Rapp

    I am currently a senior at Indiana University Southeast in pursuit of an English Writing degree. I play guitar and write in the band, Field of Kings, as well as record and perform in many various side projects. Writing and performing has always been my two greatest passions.

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