Gable Music’s Singer Songwriter Showcase at the Queen Theater
Edited by: Bryan Pentoney
Gable Music Ventures capped off the month of February with an evening featuring six of the Delaware Valley’s up- and-coming musical artists. Showcasing their talents to a packed and lively audience at Wilmington’s World Cafe Live at the Queen Theater, the diverse group of musicians covered a somewhat wide variety of genres by performing a total of six songs split into two three-song rotations.
Beginning the evening was singer-songwriter Paige Allbriton, who performed quite diligently with an array of very tasteful and slow melodies. Her voice which was both thrilling and beautiful was an adequate match for her homey and down-to earth stage performance, which did not fail in drawing very convincing praises from the attentive crowd.
The second artist to perform was singer and cello player Sheila Hershey. Hershey’s performance was prematurely and abruptly interrupted by technical difficulties which foreshadowed the dim and off nature of her set. Despite possessing an attractive voice, Hershey’s musical rococo sensibilities could not be any more detached from the reality of the present day music scene. Seeming on stage like a prized but awkwardly situated museum piece, her vapid approach to musical performance was perhaps the only blemish on an otherwise decent night.
Third on the stage was singer and guitar player Jason Ager. With an affable and infectious persona and a connective voice, Ager was able to restore the composure and credibility of an event that seemed a bit shaken by the previous artist. Armed with a sharp sense of humor, uncanny honesty, and witty insight, his songs were able to connect with the audience both by the nature of their comedic and self-deprecating lyrics, and their catchy and upbeat tempos.
Following Ager on stage was vocal performer Alicia Maxwell. With a mesmerizing and powerful take on the American blues, Maxwell changed the musical direction of the night, adding a flavor far removed from the much expected acoustic folk-pop which preceded her set. Moving with groove and passion, Maxwell got the crowd clapping and moving to the sounds of her sweeping and ferocious vocals that filled the spaces of the building, adding more zest to her surprising set.
Philadelphia’s own Madalean Gauze was next and ready to net the audience with a catharsis clothed in a perfect mix between folk and blues. Invoking a hybrid of Johnny Cash and Norah Jones, Gauze effused an energy unmatched by any of the other performers, marked by a very defiant nature. This was stressed early on through her uncaring use of an expletive which succeeded in both shocking and hooking the crowd. Her flinging approach to Dylanesque deliverance of lyrics was enough to satisfy and create an amazing first impression for an artist well worthy to keep an eye on.
The honors of closing out the night fell on singer Victoria Spaeth, who shared vocal accompaniment on stage. Rich, vibrant, and honest, the songs which were by and large folk redone in a poppy fashion, were a correct and appropriate way to end an evening containing varying levels of talent and genres of music.
Ever known for fostering new names in the music scene, Gable Music Ventures Singer Songwriter Showcase at the World Cafe Live, proved a good way-at least for some of the performers- to begin to make their music heard and talents known in the First State.