Night Five with Amber Russell
One of the things I like about Portland is that the weather doesn't stop anyone from going out. On a rainy and cold Thursday evening, Al's Den filled out nicely with a crowd who came to listen. Each and every night the audience sort of embodies and dictates how the show will be. It was sort of like a mix of every night so far, people were lively, but focused and really in tune with the music.
Amber Russell was my guest performer. She was sort of a last minute fill in for a cancelation, but I'm glad it worked out because she was very unique. Her style of slap guitar was impressive, shifting through tunings and capos while playing really cool covers and originals. Although she doesn't sing, her character rang through while talking in between songs. Her playful, quirky personality really brightened her set, and even through breaking a string she didn't fret and ended up finishing strong.
My set was mostly filled with originals. It was my last solo show of the Residency as Shaun David will join me on guitar for the weekend. It really couldn't have gone any better for me, either. The reception was overwhelming and honestly, a bit shocking. I can tell that after five days of playing every night, my vocals and performance have gotten stronger. At the end of my set, a line quickly formed at my merchandise booth with people buying shirts, cd's, giving compliments and providing good conversation. To know that I can reach and affect people with my music is extremely uplifting. I've been honored to have this opportunity and have been extremely humbled by the talent I play with each night, it's nice to have that affirmation that I belong here, too.
I'm looking forward to playing with my old pal, Ronnie Carrier tonight. She's introduced me to many of the artists I know here in Portland. It's always great watching her grow as an artist through the years.