Luke’s Alphabet Tour – K: Krystle Warren at London Dingwalls – 22nd May 2012

By on Thursday, 31st May 2012 at 2:00 pm

As you stroll into Dingwalls you’re met with the humble surroundings of wine glasses on candlelit tables. Couples and friends chat and drink in the flickering light while understated, soothing music creates a relaxed ambiance but also one filled with anticipation for tonight’s showstopping songstress, Krystle Warren.

The Kansas-born singer/songwriter has popped into the Camden venue this evening – after a run of shows with Rufus Wainwright – to showcase tracks from her new LP ‘Love Songs – A Time You May Embrace’ to a devoted audience. The intimate room is full of fans of all ages from all walks of life who feel the same passion for music that flows through the veins of this talented musician.

Despite usually being accompanied by The Faculty, tonight Krystle’s entourage are the folky five-piece The Wagon Tales who only met the frontwoman yesterday after learning her extensive set list. With a musical arsenal including a banjo, double bass and a mandolin, the bluegrass sound of the American Midwest comes alive in North London through an array of harmonious, heartfelt ditties delivered in a beautiful baritone.

The names of Nina Simone and Tracy Chapman are often thrown around to describe this talented performer and the comparison is just. The tone of Krystle’s voice and her onstage persona is just so similar to these legendary singers that she may one day join the ranks of. Opener ‘Tuesday Morning’ is a folk/country ballad that starts the ball rolling as those without a table toward the back begin to warm up their dancing (primarily swaying) feet.

William Blake‘s 1794 poem ‘The Clod and the Pebble’ also receives the American jazz/country treatment but still keeps the inherent whimsy and English romanticism. Stating that she prefers sad songs, Krystle’s show is one in which loss and love underscore everything, which is in stark contrast to the upbeat nature of Kansas bluegrass and country. ‘I Worry Less’ and ‘Sadness is a Good Thing’ crossover the borders of blues and pop seamlessly while the merry minstrels on stage never miss a beat. It’s unbelievable these musical maestros met only a day previous as they’re tighter than a hipster’s jeans.

Ending on a rousing, gospel-like chorus of the words “forget me not” echoing throughout the audience, Krystle’s deafening standing ovation is wholly deserved. Over an hour of heartstring-pulling folk fused with jazz, blues and country leaves this London crowd elated at the discovery of their new American folk hero.

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