"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Concert Review: Allison Downey

Last night Jean & I attended a CD Release Concert for local Kalamazoo folk singer Allison Downey at the Little Theatre on Western Michigan's University campus. For the concert, Allison and her husband and musical partner, John Austin, expanded to a full band with musicians featured on her second and newest CD, Across The Sea.

Big plans for her first CD, Wind At Your Back, got sidelined by her move to Kalamazoo. You can here two songs from that CD on the Bob's Retirement Video (posted January 26, 2008). She came from Austin, TX, to WMU's theater department in 2002. Downey became a regular performer at the Kraftbrau Brewery, which is where I first heard her, and The Union.

When she's herself, Downey shows influences of the Indigo Girls, Natalie Merchant, Joni Mitchell, and James Taylor. Songs range from country to folk-pop and piano ballads, intimate songs you could find on a Sarah McLachlan or Nora Jones album. Austin with a six-string electric bass, works in more groove than one would expect in folk.

The new CD includes "Almost" and "All That Matters," Downey's songs that won the People's Choice Award at the 2007 Wildflower Arts & Music Festival.

A wonderful concert on a cold January evening.

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