Avery*Sunshine Packs a Free, Live Performance at Ben’s Next Door
I kick myself for showing up late to the Avery*Sunshine show at Ben’s Next Door but I had a meeting earlier that night, and then you know, you have to find parking on U street.
I walk into Ben’s to a PACKED back room. I mean, I’m not at Ben’s every week, but this is more people that I’ve seen for a show in a long time. I think Avery*Sunshine‘s AUC roots had something to do with it. I see a lot of folks (some of them from the same family) from the AUC out to support the artist and band.
Having arrived waaaayyy into the set, I had to jockey for position- eventually settling in on the fringe of the standing crowd. I was too far away from video, but perfect to see Avery*Sunshine‘s smile that warms hearts.
Sitting behind a keyboard, the artist belts out songs that I’m familiar with from her Press pack. Her voice is warm and caressing. Her website describes her as a ‘self-proclaimed’ therapist. After a few listens, deep listens, to her CD, I can believe it. There is truth, maturity and honesty in the songwriting, which when sung, dances on top of the music – gracefully turning and bending. In love.
Days later as I write this and after I give the CD a few more listens I am so mad I missed the full performance.
As a whole – the music is romantic and thought-provoking. Avery*Sunshine writes about love and relationships in a very mature manner. Honesty pervades the work. From songs where as a woman, she recognizes she made all the drama up, “All in My Head;” or when she apologizes for “trippin’ out” on her lover/significant other in “Ugly Part of Me.” It takes a mature person to admit this. It’s refreshing to hear in soul music. Enjoy video filmed by E.Perry
Through the evening, the crowd heard Avery*Sunshine deliver tracks from D’Angelo, Anita Baker and Jill Scott. Her rendition of D’Angelo’s “Lady” was soul-stirring. And I’d tell you if she came up short on one of my favorite tracks. Her vocal control is amazing. She’s able to lead her fellow musicians and cultivate the creativity of her live show, almost effortlessly.
Perhaps my favorite part of the night was the hurried exchange of cash for CDs.
Avery*Sunshine adds to a list of Spelman women making waves in the music industry. Each of them unique and going against the mainstream, yet demonstrating the utmost talent in their craft. If only I had stayed in the Glee Club. Oh well.
*Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Avery*Sunshine’s music in order to write this piece.