Great Review of The Orlando Show in Metromix!

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Great Review of The Orlando Show in Metromix!

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.....She commanded the stage with her unique blend of folk singer and girl-next-door charm—reviving the elegance, subtle intensity and femininity that exudes off a gal and her acoustic guitar. In our world of overproduced-sexualized pop, Branch cuts it back to the basics. Like Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon, Branch is a one-woman musical army. While she plays to appreciative paying fans on many a night, I get the feeling she would be just as gratified strumming out a few numbers for pedestrians on a city street corner.

Her voice has matured and taken on a more sturdy tone that is at times chill-inducing.

“Breathe,” that tune that just reassures you that all will be well if you simply exhale, was played with a lively sense of spunk and freedom. This declaration not to sweat the menacing moments had fans singing along. Hearing their voices, void of all stress, I suddenly felt like my chakras were aligned.

The smoothly seductive “The Game of Love,” a 2002 collaboration with Carlos Santana, sounded as fresh as the first time it blazed out of the radio.

Branch’s sister, Nicole, added her vocals to country gemstone “Leave the Pieces,” as well as other tunes throughout the evening.

Next, Branch let us all know that she would play “A love song about drinkin’” called “Jack and Jim.” Before jumping into the ode to bourbon, she said it was a “travesty” that there weren’t more songs dedicated to grandpa’s cough syrup. Folks sipped on their adult bevs, and enjoyed the perfect saloon soundtrack Branch provided for their tipsiness.

She segwayed into mommy-mode with a warm, fresh-out-the-dryer, song that she wrote for her three-year-old daughter, entitled “Crazy Ride.” It was like an audible loving lecture on how to deal with the heartache that coincides with growing up. The twang in her voice stood out against her thoughtful, delicate strumming.

My favorite part of the show was when Branch paid homage to Floridian Tom Petty, with a sizzling cover of “You Wreck Me.” Her band jammed out with reverence, and she slyly switched up the mention of gender within the lyrics— “I’ll be the girl in the corduroy pants/You be the boy at the high school dance.”

She also made sure to keep fans satisfied by playing her hits, such as “Everywhere” and “All You Wanted.”

Branch closed the night with “Are You Happy Now?”— a song title attendees would have answered “yes” to after her fruitful performance.

Back in 2001, Branch may have been thrown into the bouquet of just another withering girly teen act, but since then she has proven otherwise. Forming female-folk-country superduo the Wreckers earned her notoriety in the country music world. Her bluegrass, hillbilly-cred is just another embroidery on her cowgirl boots.

She keeps it simple, unpretentious, relatable and undeniably catchy.

There’s potent talent and serious sincerity blooming on this Branch. As seasons pass there’s no doubt that, like a California Redwood, Branch’s songwriting and playing will grow stronger and more breathtaking with age.

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Coropus's picture

Wow - you can't get much better than that!

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