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The WDVX Blue Plate Special – 11/14 – Kenny Roby / Hallie Spoor & Clair Welin
November 14, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
When you close your eyes and listen to Kenny Roby’s self-titled album, you can imagine an alternate world where the singer/songwriter channels Leonard Cohen. Only in that dimension, Cohen is moonlighting as a southern culinarian where his deft touch knows just how much vinegar is needed to keep things from getting too sweet. He keeps the ingredients simple and lets them simmer precisely as long and slow as needed.
In more literal terms, Kenny Roby has become quite adept at finding the quiet space between beauty and sadness in a song. From Roby’s earliest days as a musician fronting 6 String Drag, he was labeled an “old soul.” Someone who had lived count-less lives and regaled listeners with stories of those adventures. Or in another reality, Roby is the troubadour version of Hermes in Greek mythology (or Mercury in Roman tales), carrying souls to their final resting place, but learning some of their secrets along the journey and carrying their tales in his songs.
Whatever the metaphors used to describe his artistry, there is no denying that Kenny Roby is an under-appreciated American treasure. This latest record finds him taking his craft to a new level. He is a singer/songwriter with an abundance of gifts. Not the least of which is his ability to draw listeners into his world with disarming ease. There’s a shared intimacy throughout the collection, like gentle breeze rattling the screen window or the arm of a phonograph rhythmically clicking at the end of an old Bobby Charles’ record. You can feel the air hanging thick as it tends to do when Summer comes into focus, and you can hear Roby’s finelyhewned, weathered voice, bend that air to his will.
“If you’re a fan of confessional lyrics and a strong, powerful voice,” writes 303 Magazine, “then Spoor is your girl.” Based in Brooklyn, NY, indie-folk singer-songwriter Hallie Spoor has often been described as an old soul. The combination of her compelling vocals and emotional storytelling has led to her nickname, “The Adele of Americana” (bolderbeat). Hallie’s EP “New Ground” has been streamed more than 90,000 times on Spotify, and was released to a sold out crowd at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City. Her music is reminiscent of 1970’s folk icons, with symphonic moments sharply contrasted by bare vocals and acoustic guitar. Spoor is set to release her third EP in 2022.
Claire Welin. A violinist, vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, actor, and advocate originally from North Dakota and based in Queens, NY, I have been singing and playing the violin for 27 years. I am the daughter of musicians and have spent most of my professional life in Chicago, LA, NYC, and on the road making music, acting, and working in the service industry. I lead the ghost folk band Youth in a Roman Field; our second album, Storm Conductor (produced with the Grammy-award-winning Stewart Lerman) is available everywhere. Our music has been featured in theatre, webseries, and video projects, including episodes of Matching Pursuit and The Dreamers. I joined the Brooklyn-based art rock powerhouse San Fermin in 2016 and have contributed to the bands Glad Fanny, Albert, 2/3 Goat, and The Jamie Elman Trio. I have toured with Delta Rae and Once The Musical, in which I also performed on Broadway. I sit in with a handful of bands in the NYC area, frequently performing with Behaviorist, Haunting Renditions, and Apartment Sessions. I also work as a composer, arranger, and performer for theatre, film, and dance. Besides making music, I wait tables, go to therapy, and advocate for progressive causes and change in the US through both work & volunteer opportunities. Music has been a driving force and valuable comfort in my life, and I love making it and learning through it every day.