It’s happened again. I attended a show and found an opener that blew me away. At 3rd and Lindsley on November 17, Jabe Beyer warmed the stage for Bobby Long and found a new fan in me. I was embarrassed to admit that I’d never heard of him, and I’m even more embarrassed now that I’ve seen his credentials, which include some seriously prestigious songwriting awards. Seems Jabe is quite well known in music circles around Nashville, and I’ve been woefully ignorant. Never mind that. A girl knows what she likes, and this one likes Jabe.
I immediately appreciated his easy stage presence, which alerted me to the fact that he’s definitely done this before. Jabe developed a kinship with the crowd right away, teasing and joking between his songs. It was very easy to like him as a person even before he sang. When he picked up the electric guitar to start his set, that’s when the magic began.
The first thing (of many) that I fell in love with was the clear, unassuming voice and the fact that I could understand every last word he sang. This is such a difficult thing to find anymore that I was immediately smitten, and then again when I realized that those words were clever, if a bit melancholy. His opener, Pour That Wine, has since become one of my favorite songs because, I confess, I had to look it up and listen to it over and over.
He then proceeded to give a sampling from each of his albums, including Bound to Drown, from Where Are We Going & When Do We Get There, an upbeat tune with a bit of country flavor and Both Hands on the Wheel, from the same album, a smooth melody that features more of his beautiful and thought provoking lyrics. A great highlight for me was Forever Is a Long Time, from Outback Country Vampire, a dirty blues piece that had me tapping my toes and grinning like a loon. The favorite for the whole audience was the catchy and musical Louise, which is featured on his latest album, a live recording from The Family Wash.
He closed his set with Picture in My Pocket, another fun tune with a great beat. I wanted more than anything to hear this one with his whole band. I hope to get a chance to see Jabe again soon, but until then, I’ll listen through his albums and dance along as I play them full blast in my car (because that’s the very best place to listen to great music.)
You can check out all of Jabe’s albums on iTunes or pick them up at any of his shows. By checking his website, you can keep up with his schedule. He’s touring California now, but he’ll be at the Bluebird Café in Nashville on December 2.
Photo credit: Amanda Stamps