One of the fall’s best acoustic packages stopped by Philly’s World Cafe Live last night, as L.A. natives Milk Carton Kids and Gaby Moreno awed concertgoers with two stellar performances. Singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno jump started the evening with a jaw-dropping performance, commanding the audience’s full attention with her infectious melodies and dynamic guitar playing. Her soulful voice compliments the engaging melodies and soul hooks in both English and Spanish with an equilibrium of ease.
I find acoustic shows can go one of two ways – either the crowd talks right over the subtly melodies and singing for what becomes background filler, or the artist is able to capture the audience and fully immerse the room into an intimate one-on-one, with the performer being the only focal point. Gaby Moreno definitely falls into the latter. She is currently supporting her latest release, Illustrated Songs, released independently. Be sure to check out the streaming sample below and buy the record if you dig. Comparisons could easily be made to Amy Winehouse and Joss Stone, but truth be told, her heartfelt delivery stays closer to legends like Ray Charles and Gladys Knight, with a tinge of 1940s French cabaret. Hands down, one of the most impressive acoustic sets I’ve seen all year. I can see why music connoisseurs at NPR and other leading music critics hold this artist in such high regard.
Milk Carton Kids took the stage next and delivered a velvet smooth performance that had the crowd swooning. Fans of Simon and Garfunkel will surely find much to cling to here as the sounds this dynamic duo project could fit on a bill with Tim Renoylds and Dave Mathews just as easily as they could Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Not to say that band lacks originality, because they surely do not. Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale progress through their songs as extensions of one another, the way identical twins finish each other’s sentences. The guitar work is intricate and smooth with vocals that guide emotion like wind to a kite – and we all had a firm grasp on the string. Two enthusiastic thumbs up for this touring package. You can sample the band’s latest full-length, Prologue, below.
We know you are here for pictures, so without further ado..
Review and Pictures by Joshua T. Cohen.
Copy Edit by JD.
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