Recently, I had the opportunity to hear a little Folk, R&B, and Soul music all in one night. No, I was not concert-hopping. Well, perhaps I did hop to three different shows but I never left Twelve Lounge. Intrigued? Great! Read on to learn more about the Liv Suite concert series.
The brainchild of Founder and CEO Elvis Colbert, Liv Suite is a quarterly concert series bringing talented indie artists from across the US to Washington, DC. I recently had the opportunity to attend the Autumn Soul 2011 show held at Twelve Lounge in the increasingly popular H Street, NE corridor just minutes from Union Station and Capitol Hill. This quarter’s line-up brought together an eclectic mix of Folk, Soul, and R&B for a powerhouse night of music.
Shae Fiol, the beautiful Portland, OR native whose maternal and paternal grandmothers were pianists, opened the evening with a short song-set from her latest album, Catch A Ride. Shae’s voice shares a kinship with Nelly Furtado but the influence of Sarah Mclachlan, Stevie Wonder, and Amel Larrieux were evident in the singer-songwriter’s lyrics. Growing up her American mother and Cuban father shared the world with Shae through music. The journey lead her from Portland, to Albuquerque to Los Angeles, to South America, and finally to Brooklyn where she currently calls home. A sociologist by trade, Shae brought her heritage, world travels, and her family’s deep musical roots to the Liv Suite setting the stage for a night of diverse sounds and styles.
Soulful, passionate, honest, eclectic, out-0f-the-box, and genre-less is how Levi Stephens described his music before the show’s start. His performance lived up to each word. Decked in black slacks, vests, and tie with a crisp white button-down shirt and classic black Chuck Taylors, the DMV-native took the audience on a trip through his musical influence. Levi skillfully gave a mind-blowing R&B performance with songs from his latest project, This Way, that had the crowd pumped by mid-set. His sound can only be described as Marvin Gaye, James Taylor, and Bill Withers wrapped into one body. Add Michael Jackson and James Brown for stellar showmanship and you have Mr. Stephen’s performance. Levi is Blues. Levi is Soul. Levi is Country. Levi R&B. The man is just music!
Autumn Soul 2011 closed out with the innovative, vibrant, dynamic and soul-stirring Deborah Bond and her band Thrid Logic. The voice that flows from the petite fashionista is awe-inspiring. Deborah opened the show in a multi-print off-the shoulder dress with songs from her first album, Day After. Close your eyes and you could her musical influences Sade and Chaka Khan. A self-described storyteller, Deborah shared her life and love through her songs. She had the crowd enraptured with her words and moves. She covered classics including “See You In My Dreams” and “Loves Been Waiting.” She introduced her latest album, Madame Palindrome, to the Autumn Soul crowd as well. Of course the new work was well-received. Deborah brought down the house with the club-track “5:35.” She had the people out of their seats as she and her background singers literally danced off the stage!
Those searching for new music artists and great performances, be sure to check out the Liv Suite in Winter 2012. The line-up has not been announced but it will surely not disappoint. To learn more about the Liv Suite, visit www.thelivsuite.com.