Wednesday, July 1, 2009

One Woman Who Draws A Crowd

Julia Weldon is one of those transparent performers who wears her heart on her sleeve.  Her lyrical songs speak beautifully to her unique sense of humor and perspective  ("I wanna write like Bobby Dylan and go to jail like Johnny Cash").  Even her guitar strumming seems dictated by her impulses, alternating between big and passionate and quiet and gentle. 
    Playing for the first time at Rockwood Music Hall on June 30th (to a full house despite her admitted fears that no one would show up), Weldon was candid about her nerves.  "I'm gonna forget some lyrics," she warned before one song, mid-set, "Just get ready for it."  
And yet there is something about her that is charming and comforting despite all nerves.  As an audience, you feel well taken care of.
It was a well thought out set, even visually, hinting at Weldon's career as an actor.  "Apparently there are sitting and standing songs," she mused as she found herself moving to and from the stool. 
She threw in one song a capella, short and sweet, and later invited Alyssa Robbins, a friend and peer in the singer/songwriter scene, to join her onstage.  This duet hinted at a good idea for Weldon and her one-woman show; she shares the stage just as well as she holds it on her own, but some of her songs benefit from additional harmonies and instrumental layers.
   She is a woman of surprises: the things that come out of her mouth are never what you're expecting.  Even her songs go in unforeseen directions, such as "One of These Days" which dissolves pleasantly into her own version of "Over the Rainbow".  
    So who knows what to expect at Weldon's next show?  Other than a charming performance. And probably a stool. 

Photo credit: Rebecca Greenberg

No comments: