Sunday, November 29, 2009

Matt Epp & Bahamas at the Cameron House // Review

Cameron House is a small bar/venue on Queen St that, for it's size, provided the perfect space for an intimate show hosting two lyrical maestros. It was the CD Release for Matt Epp's new album 'Safe or Free' featuring Bahamas as the opening act. Bahamas is Afie Jurvanen, a talented Toronto-based artist, who describes himself as folk rock. From the moment he launched into one of his soft and carefully craft mellow tunes, his strategy for the night was to try shaking the traditional separation of artist and audience opting for a more informal feel. This was accomplished through his funny, yet honest banter. By simply speaking his mind on everything, from his own riffs to the influx of people, we could all share in his thoughts that very moment. His overall approach seemed to fit with the mood of the audience,  from song to song he was able to engage with the audience with seeming ease and confidence, leaving each of us all with at least one funny story to tell. *Someone's phone rang during a break in his singing, and without skipping a beat, stated "...that's a faux pas"* My lasting impression was that it was more so a gathering of friends than a highly-rehearsed set. It fit the music and his personality; it was light and fun.

Matt Epp seem to have a more impassioned approach. A Winnipeg-based acoustic act, Epp calmly demonstrated his wide vocal range and instrumental talent. His stories were charming and heartfelt and so I felt by the end of the show that I somehow got to know Matt on a personal level without having actually speaking one-on-one. As I was leaving, without hesitation, I quickly caught his attention shouting "great show Matt! I really enjoyed it" to which he replied with a surprised but satisfied grin, "thanks so much, man." I feel privileged to have seen such talent on the cusp of what can only be a great future in music.

Both Matt Epp and Bahamas' lyrics, in my opinion, were the highlight of the night. Both artists provided such beautiful imagery to convey emotions that often seem difficult to describe but I felt at home with both Epp and Jurvanen's interpretations. My ability to relate so closely with lyrics is a phenomenon that I haven't felt in a long time and for that, both Matt and Afie, deserve the attention of music lovers everywhere.

This Old House - Matt Epp (feat. Eliza Gilkyson) *mp3 download*


bassingitup said...


Brandon said...

Great review, James. I attended and felt totally inspired. A special night for Afie / Epp fans.

After the “...that's a faux pas" moment, I thought it nice of Afie to ease the situation by saying something like “ripping solos on nylon acoustic,” which he was doing effortlessly, “is also a faux pas… so we’re even”. One of many funny moments. The Elvis photo banter was also hilarious.