Alexis Marceaux and Sam Craft

Circle Bar

September 07, 2009


Alexis Marceaux is a native New Orleanian that recently burst back onto the scene. Her folk/soul had enough unexpected, almost proggy changes to set her apart and keep me on my toes when she recently shared a bill at The Circle Bar with Sam Craft.

Her subject matter was nothing new for a female singer-songwriter--the travails of the heart--but her sweet, tender melodies kept the music from sinking into schlock. It also helped that she was comfortable onstage. I've seen enough mousey performers that are just "happy to be there."

She was most confident with her soaring voice, her greatest weapon. She coated the music as she pleased, laying back, playing it lean and straight or going for it, pushing her voice in an impressive showcase of her improvisatory skill. She had quite the range. When she reached her higher register, she sounded like a bird.

Craft, who had been accompanying Marceaux on violin and synthesizer, took the reigns next. Whether on solo acoustic or synthesizer, he proved that Glasgow songs could hit home without a band. It took me to see Craft to play this set to realize how talented he and his brother Sam are as songwriters. My favorite of the set was "Samurai," a song full of rock opera bombast and smart dynamics. It was a fun up and down ride, really well-crafted.

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