And The Bands Rock On: Rebekah Todd, Downtown Abby & Emily Musolino at Pour House Music Hall
Welcoming 2019 at Pour House Music Hall
On a cold rainy Friday night, I shuffled through the wetness in search some auditory warmth from a few talented local ladies at the Pour House in downtown Raleigh. I’m no stranger to this venue; it’s become a close friend to me, as many local haunts have at this point, but tonight I was being reintroduced to familiar faces. At Shutter16 we support local bands whenever possible so the line up spoke to me: three acts, local, all I only had a passing fancy with: Rebekah Todd, Downtown Abby & The Echoes, and Emily Musolino. The perfect opportunity to see them up close and personal like, and show these ladies some local love.
The venue was just starting to fill up for Rebekah Todd, mixed attendees but mostly older. Couples and groups of friends willing to step out in the cold wet for a few tunes. Tonight Rebekah Todd is a duo: singer, songwriter, and guitarist Rebekah Todd and her husband, drummer and writing partner Logan Tabor. She recently did a summer tour with a full band under Rebekah Todd & The Odyssey but tonight it was just drums, guitar and a voice. Based out of Wilmington, NC her sound is bluesy, folk fusion that is hard not to miss in the South. A perfect example is the song “Tin Roof” off her 2017 release Crooked Lines. It’s blues, with a twang of country and gospel that is as southern as sweet tea. They performed a new song “O Brother,” and teased the crowd about a new album they’re currently working on.
My favorite song of the night (also off the Crooked Lines album) was “Lightning Bugs.” It’s got a groove to it that had Rebekah dancing on stage and finally got the crowd warmed up enough to start dancing. Plus Logan’s drumming on that track was bananas! Most of the songs they performed were off of Crooked Lines, and I must say I dig the album. “Hustle” was another highlight track. It opens up like a chant and breaks into funkier, brass laden song full of soul with Rebekah singing about the highs and lows of trying to get a dollar. Live, it’s still a dope song even without the horns that give it that extra flair because Rebekah’s voice stands out in this one. I’d love to hear her do a gospel, funk type album and she hinted as much during the show. The chemistry on stage between her and Logan is adorable, Logan even doing some impromptu comedy about an octopus during a quick tune up moment. Rebekah Todd will be on tour all around the US this June/July but you can get their album here to hold you over.
Downtown Abby & The Echoes is a band from Charlotte, NC, consisting of lead vocalist Abby Bryant on keys, guitarist Bailey Faulkner, Logan Hall on bass, and Steven Cornacchia on drums. Abby has those smoky vocals, all sultry and bluesy. The type of voice made for love songs and lounges filled with broken dreams and cigarette smoke. They were a more uptempo but still keeping in with that southern feel of the night. Downtown’s EP Leavin’ You was released last year; it’s decent and but it only gives you a quick taste of the band’s flavor.
For me, no track was really standing out but now seeing them live and hearing their new material, I’m looking forward to what goodness they’ve got in the pipeline. There was one song where Abby begged her lover to “please come back home,” and I swear I felt transported in time. Her voice is that raspy type that is made for those tried and true “begging-and-pleading” love songs.
They performed “All You Gotta Do” off their EP, and “A River’s Song” yet in person you just get more of the band’s personality. On stage the songs grew depth, and an undeniable funk I enjoyed. A new song “Ragged,” and one affectionately called “The Unnamed Baby” were of the classic rock mix that I grew up on. By the end of their set, I was a believer. You can download their EP here for yourself to enjoy.
I was acquainted with closing act, Emily Musolino, in name. Last year at the Pour House, I had come to review a show for another NC group, Dark Water Rising, led by American Idol semi-finalist Charly Lowry, in which Emily is a vocalist/guitarist. She was absent that night but I remembered her name when I heard about shows she was doing around the area.
Emily gets busy in the Bull City: engineering and owning her own studio, Blue Moose Recording Studio, and collaborating with other artists like Shana Tucker, and Ani Difranco. She’s someone that’s been on my must-see list for a bit. On stage this night, Emily was a funky-fresh dressed whirlwind of big hair, big hips and a raging voice. It was fantastic! I loved her honest style of writing song lyrics, more narrative and quips than fancy poetry. It’s authentically her. Like her song “White Trash Ex GF,” the hillbilly rock tune of scorn or “Show Me,” off her April 2018 release The Vault.
With the chorus “I’m feeling you so heavy, I don’t know what to do with myself,” “Show Me” is easily relatable and catchy enough to have couples out on the floor together. There was even a solid moment of shredding with Lotus Sun guitarist Tyrek Hearon. We were blessed with “Rebound” and “Pull It Together” as well, and frankly Emily is just an awesome performer.
I wished I could’ve heard “My Life’s A Blur” (my #1 track of hers, it’s dope on numerous levels) yet I understood she was trying to push her newest body of work. The crowd started to lean down by midnight and my old bones were growing weary.
I said my good-byes, no longer needing to wade through a crowd to make my exit but feeling as though the night had delivered on its promise of good music and a great time. Make sure you check below for the next time one of these talented women will be in your area!
Downtown Abby Band
Sat, Jan 5 – Beaufort, NC – Cru Wine Bar – 8pm-12am
Fri, Jan 18 – Wake Forest, NC – Wake Forest Listening Room 7-9pm
Sat, Jan 26 – Fayetteville, NC – Paddy’s Irish Pub – 11pm-2am