There have been several instances in the life of Henry Grace where the light at the end of the tunnel was music, a beacon to hang on to when life became too much to comprehend and depression filled the void. This week at The Lafayette, surely one of London’s outstanding musical venues, he became that light as he not only starred in but organised a magical night of music featuring Jamie Lawson and Elles Bailey alongside his considerable talent.
When you watch some artists perform, one of their songs might spring to mind. For me, and this is more because I’d never seen the artist play live before, a song by Carrie Underwood sprang to mind! When Elles Bailey takes to the stage with her husky blues country voice rocking a to die for jump suit and takes a live audience along for the ride, the only song I could think of was ‘Poor Everybody Else’, in fact I think Elles would do an awesome cover of it. I was lucky enough to see this UK artist smash The Black Deer Festival recently and can’t wait to see her play again. Until then, I got to ask her a few questions.
There must have been something prophetic about the lyrics of a Drake White song back in 2016, when he sang “nobody’s talking but we’re all on the phone”. The song ‘Back to Free’ is a song from country artist Drake and he was one of the stars on Sunday at Kent’s ever more popular Americana, Country and Roots Black Deer Festival but I’m sure even he wouldn’t have foreseen the looming shadow of technology on music as well as our departure from the things that make life and making memories special.
Mark Caplice is a multi award winning songwriter, producer and artist from County Wicklow in Ireland who first came to my attention when I heard the amazing work he did on Megan O’Neill’s stunning rendition of the Jim Croce classic ‘Time in a Bottle’. This was evidently just the tip of the iceberg of this man’s talent and this fact was amplified by last year’s partnership with the Recording Academy.
It’s beginning to occur to me that festivals are a bit like watching good sports teams. I like to see a few star names in the line up, I enjoy a chance to see the young hungry artists coming through but I think the thing that really makes a great festival is the strength in depth and Black Deer has become that rare place that satisfies all of my needs.
Marie Naffah, Celine Love. Fox Gunn and Viia have joined their incredible talents to create something very powerful indeed, following on from their acoustic charity release, they are releasing this stunning produced version of the Aretha Franklin classic, ‘Natural Woman’, which will quite simply take your breath away.