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#1 The Woodz is calling (Woodzen, Emmy Woods, Jesse Anderson)

I had the pleasure of attending the three band lineup of Woodzen, Emmy Woods and the Red Pine Ramblers, and the Jesse Anderson Band at the Underground Music Cafe. All three bands presented an excellent set of tunes that spanned a variety of genres, but ultimately fit together perfectly.

The Underground Music Cafe has a sophisticated and cozy feel. Walking into the venue feels friendly and familiar. The stage is framed well in the room, as I could see the bands well from any vantage point. The room sounds good too, I could hear all the bands clearly, with none of them overpowering the crowd.

Woodzen performed first. Led by Jake Johnson on the guitar and lead vocals, they perform in a variety of genres that seem disparate, but fit well. Country/Americana style settings blend into groovy funk and jazz fusion jams. I have seen them before and while this show was missing their keyboard player, they were joined by Izzy Cruz on hand percussion, which was an excellent addition. Their songs flowed seamlessly—during the middle part of the set they were moving directly from one song to the next with no break—and the contours of the sonic landscape took me on a real journey. They finished their set with their new single, “Stolen Gold,” a ballad which spins a tale of sailors and gold.

Emmy Woods and the Red Pine Ramblers performed next. Firmly rooted in the country genre, Emmy’s songwriting really sells her music. Her voice is sweet and comfortable, unique but familiar. I really felt her most recent single, “A Million Miles Per Hour,” a saga about growing up in a small town in North Dakota. Having spent time myself in North Dakota, the song really captures the feel of the rural part of the state. Emmy positions herself as a storyteller with musical prowess, she feels simultaneously friendly and approachable as well as impressively skillful.

Listen to her single "A Million Miles Per Hour" Here:

Finally, the audience was treated to The Jesse Anderson Band. Multi-instrumentalist Jesse boasts a powerful grasp of multiple genres, which he weaves seamlessly. His songwriting is excellent and he performs with a confident stage presence. His songs have thoughtful verse sections that grow into rousing choruses. He floats between the guitar and piano with confidence and finesse, and engages the audience with well written songs.

I had a great time listening to all three of these bands last Friday. I will definitely make sure to check each of these groups out again. 

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