Also on the bill: Kat Edmonson.
After having to cancel the previous four nights due to illness, Kat Edmonson and Robert Ellis were cleared to perform on a wintery Saturday night at Cleveland’s Music Box Supper Club. The venue’s concert hall made for the perfect setting of Edmonson’s artistic pop and the Texas troubadour sounds of Ellis on an evening when both performers asked for forgiveness for their vocals.
Ellis opened the night playing his modified hand-carved archtop acoustic, The Loar LH-300 guitar, with the dark twangy “Good Intentions” accompanied by Kelly Doyle on electric guitar. The duo performed a 40-minute set with “Deeper Blues,” a new song titled “Elephant” that had a little bossa nova flavor, the beautiful ballad “Friends Like Those,” and a song he wrote driving from Austin to Houston called “Coming Home.” Ellis, who was nominated in three categories this past year by the Americana Music Association for his last album The Lights from the Chemical Plant, closed out his set with the Jerry Reed instrumental “Jerry’s Breakdown.”
Edmonson, touring behind The Big Picture, opened her portion of the evening with the album’s single “Rainy Day Woman.” The singer was backed by a stellar group of Steve Elliott (guitar), Bob Hart (bass), Aaron Kirsten (drums), and the fabulous Laura Scarborough (vibraphone, accordion, synthesizers, and melodica). Some of the highlights of her 16-song performance included “Oh My Love,” which was written for a French diamond commercial, and the Turner Classic Movies-influenced “Dark Cloud.” Her set was a mix of ‘60s British pop, bossa nova, jazzy songbook standards, and classic film scores. “You Can’t Break My Heart” pays homage to those old Italian love story films while “Champagne” is somewhat known as the "fireman song." Many of her compositions are about romantic notions of what actually happened. A very bad blind date led to “Long Way Home,” while at the other end of the spectrum “For Two” is about riding off into the sunset. Edmonson closed out the night with her take on “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure. It concluded a wonderful night for a very appreciative crowd.
(photo by Julie Telesz)