By Sticky Dojah
It was a busy week here in New York City for Sofar Sounds, with three back-to-back CMJ shows in one week. October 18th marked the second of the three gigs and the 501st Sofar in history was no let down. Located in the bustling Lower East Side, the evening’s apartment (and former Indaba music office) was the perfect surrounding for the artists‘ performances.
The night kicked off with stylish Mia Dyson, a singer-songwriter who travels back and forth between Melbourne and L.A. It couldn’t have been a better start, with Mia‘s strong vocal delivery and even stronger guitar playing setting the tone for the evening. As she sang “tell me the things you never speak of“, she held the crowd in her hands. Between songs, Mia expressed gratitude to the 90+ guests for supporting live music, but we feel it‘s her who should be thanked.
Next up was Patrick O‘Laoghaire from Ireland, who goes by the stage name “I Have a Tribe“. His intimate lyrics and fragile delivery were a stark contrast to Mia Dyson—exactly the kind of eclectic mix that Sofar strives to achieve. Patrick‘s music might best be described as “loner folk“, with captivating phrases that evoke images of solitude. After his set, he was joined by two fellow musicians from the band Slow Skies to perform a superb end to the first half of the night.
Part two of the evening was all about the Southern vibes with the band Luray easing us in. The strong combination of banjo and strings lay down a foundation for the lead-singer Shannon‘s sweet and endearing voice.
Passing on the banjo, Jonathan Linaberry “The Bones of J. R Jones” took to the floor to sing the blues. Using a suitcase for drums and a tambourine strung to his foot, Jonathan‘s delivery was like that of an old American legend. He closed his set singing about “dreams to tell“—we’d like him to tell us!
Closing the night in true soul style was Aabaraki‘s high energy Brooklyn flair. Lead singer Akie Bermiss insisted on bringing “sexy time“ to the room with their song “What I Got”, as well as smiles to our faces with their genius cover of John Lennon‘s “Jealous Guy” (which had the crowd singing their hearts out). As people fizzled out into the New York night, we were elated at having experienced yet another inspiring session of intimate living room music.