September 07, 2004
Blair Gimma went to Toys 'R Us and bought two Lite Brights for her Tuesday night show at Carrollton Station. Before the show, she and her band sat at a table in the front of the bar. They completed the '80's peg-by-peg light canvases, which were used as happy-go-lucky stage decoration. Gimma still had a larger idea.
With big eyes, she said, "Wouldn't it be great if there were twenty of these up there?"
Gimma, a born-and-raised 20 year-old singer-songwriter, has been thinking big as of late. She quit local rock band Big Blue Marble to focus on her solo material. She wanted to garner the same drive that propelled her friends in local rock band World Leader Pretend to a major label deal. Last night's show proved she's got the goods.
Her voice wasn't overpowering. It was beautiful and soothing. Her folk songs had tinges of twang, but they also swung. Gently. Gimma rocked out with tension without raising the volume. She heralded an emotional build in her songs with awkward, aggressive strumming and half-legged stomp jumps around the stage. Some of her Cuntry sound came from lap steel guitar player Adam Campagna. He provided wonderful textured icing with the lap steel and keyboard. His work fit so well into the sound it might have gone unnoticed. Gimma was also backed by a stand-up bassist and drummer.
I can't remember if the music made me feel happy or sad, but I do remember tapping my fingers on my chair and nodding my head.
Gimma's songcraft was exceptional in spots, but the Loyola student had yet to find her adult voice and weed out all of the songs she sang as a teenager. Her potential is great.
The band didn't act high and mighty, but the crowd gave them the silence of the second coming last night. As I walked in the middle of a song back to my seat, I could feel mean-spirited stares. There was deep silence during the song. Like reverence in church. These people were really into Gimma. The room was packed, and people were sitting on the floor.
The night was a success, but if you missed it, Gimma will be playing every Tuesday night this month with special guests that include Glasgow and Silent Cinema. Who's gonna help Gimma put together those Lite Brights?