Show Review: The American Songwriter Coffeehouse Tour In Raleigh, NC
Photo and review by Lucian Crockett.
The recent winner of The American Songwriter Coffeehouse Tour, Andrew Kelley Simons, kicked off his two-week run of shows this past Friday (10/5) in Raleigh, NC, at the New World Coffee House.
This is Simons’ first time on the road, but he was a natural on the stage. New World Coffee created an extremely intimate environment for the performance and it seemed as though Simons was performing in his own living room rather than a coffee shop hundreds of miles away from his own residence in East Nashville, TN.
Simons’ 11 song set included a mix of original and cover tunes, including all 3 of the songs from his recently released EP, I See A Bunch Of People Who Love Me Like Crazy and a wonderful acoustic take on Bob Seger’s “Still The Same.”
“The show tonight was awesome! Seeing as how I don’t have an audience in Raleigh, I was unsure of what to expect as far as how many people would be here,” Simons said of Friday night’s performance. “Fortunately my cousin was here and she brought some friends, so I was able to feel comfortable knowing I had some people here to see me.”
Between songs, Simons effortlessly interacted with the crowd, letting his openness shine through while telling the story behind each song. For instance, his song “Billie Jean” isn’t a Michael Jackson cover, but rather a tale of how he received comfort from kindhearted flight attendant named Billie Jean who caught him shedding a tear on a lonesome flight. Simons did a great job of taking the full-band renditions of the songs on his album and transferring them to a solo acoustic performance. Simons’ big, grand voice and fingerpicked guitar sounded great over the SA220 Solo Performance System that Fishman provided for the tour.
Even though he’s a newcomer to going on tour, Andrew Kelley Simons shouldn’t have a problem not only entertaining his fans, but also making new friends along the way. His gregarious nature coupled with his talented performances will be a surefire way to make his audience feel right at home at each one of his shows. Simons is especially looking forward to heading up north for the second week of the tour, when his girlfriend will join him and he’ll play in his former haunt, New York City, and his hometown of Boston. “I’m really working my way up to playing Boston and New York where I have a lot of friends and a lot of family,” Simons said. “My parents have never actually seen me play a solo show before, so I’m really excited for that experience.”