Jackson - Wes Tucker - Olivia Mancini - Drew Gibson - Patrick Hawkins @ Iota, Washington DC - Dec 30th 2013.
This is a fitting way to end 2013 for me, as I am not doing an overpriced New Years Eve special at the bigger clubs. Instead, it's a New Years Eve eve show with three of my favorite singer songwriters and two other fine local singer songwriters I hope to see more of. This was a free show with each performer doing a set of 2-3 songs and quickly rotating in the '9 Series' manner started up by Justin Trawick. It was a fun time and a great way for me to get back in the swing of things after my holiday travels. A Monday between holidays meant for a small, but involved crowd.
Even you have to pay such weighty amounts as $8-$12 dollars, I recommend you catch any of these performers in 2014. Real quickly...
Patrick Hawkins - He plays and sings in Benny the Band, who are playing with the Drew Gibson Band at the Iota this Friday night. He firmly strums his guitar with a little flourish in the chord shifts and plays some nice bluesy folk music.
Drew Gibson - I have long been a fan of Drew's music and I probably should read my previous reviews to whether I noted how good his fingerstyle guitar work is. I think it was always decent, but may even be better now. You can marvel at that or just sit back and drift away with his songwriting and lovely vocal work. It is all very good. As mentioned, check him out this Friday at Iota.
Olivia Mancini - I know the name, but don't believe I have ever caught a set, previously. My loss as the five songs tonight were all easy to dig into. She has a great folk style, good strong guitar work, and a comforting voice. But best of all, is a personality that will keep you fully involved with her set.
Wes Tucker - I have seen and enjoyed Wes Tucker many times with his band 'the Skillets'. I have seen a solo outing or two and tonight's show again reminded me of his fine songwriting skills. There is much warmth in his delivery and he can handle a guitar with flair when he chooses. Solo or with band, he should be on folk-rock fans' radar.
Jackson - The WeatherVanes are an excellent Americana folk rock band. Much of that is attributed to Jackson with his songwriting, vocal skills, and multi-instrumental talents. He sticks to acoustic and harmonica here, but shows many of skills in his fine songs. What was most noticeable was his dynamic sense of rhythm and volume in his playing. He understands the drama involved in delivering a song which is a key to really making an impact on stage (in anything you do).
Photo Credits: (1) Drew Gibson, (2) Wes Tucker (unknown/websites).