Friday, July 10, 2009

Music Review: Myra Flynn

I should have warned any readers from the beginning: many of my entries are going to be about music. I will try to keep it local, however much I may want to rant about other widespread interests. I devote entirely too much time to strange musical ideas (like how much I'd love to see a modern artist take on and update some old Doc Watson songs...particularly if Jenny Lewis ever got the itch to attempt that...)

Ahem. Back on task.

The past few years have seen a dramatic increase in my attendance of musical live acts around town. While that includes some of the famous bands that visit the area, more often I'm catching some of B-town's homegrown artists. There are a few gems that I would highly encourage the local folks to see, and I'm going to start with the one I try to catch most often: Myra Flynn.

Myra has been getting a lot of local press recently, in part because her CD release party was last month at FlynnSpace (and was an awesome show with great guest appearances). I first saw Myra play at the Half Lounge on Church Street, and this remains my favorite venue for her. Half, for those of you who've never been, boasts what is possibly the world's smallest stage for a musical performer. That being the case, it provides a very up close and personal listening experience; as in, do not come expecting to have a loud and rowdy conversation with your friends. This atmosphere is more for those who really want to pipe down and enjoy the music.

Myra's style is "neo-soul", and her original songs are beautiful, as are her covers of such tunes as "Volcano" (a favorite of mine, though I prefer BellX1's version over Damien Rice's solo. Yeah, sue me.), "Wild Horses", and "Breathe Me". Myra is a breath of fresh air if, like me, you've grown tired of trite, stereotypical lyrics. Myra's songs are poetry put to music (and she has at least one spoken word piece that she performs from time to time), and the energy of her live performances is nearly unmatched.

Among many other venues, you can check out Myra's tunes backed by a full band when she plays at Red Square or Nectars, or opt for her duo Quiet Songs (with guitarist and back-up vocalist Paul Boffa) at the Half Lounge. You won't be disappointed. As for me, I'll be at Half Lounge this Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. to catch Myra and Paul. Feel free to come up and say Hi - just not while the music's playing.

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