A host of Bonnie Branch newcomers warmly welcome Stephen & Laura!
OK, so I've had bigger audiences come to Bonnie Branch. I guess the spring weather was enough to keep the crowd away. But the only thing a smaller audience meant was more leg room! Otherwise, everyone received Laura and Stephen with enthusiasm and appreciation, and they didn't show any less support when it came to donations and CD sales! A special Thank You to everyone who came for the show.
Laura Tsaggaris [suh-GAIR-iss] opened the evening playing a great set mixed with both old and new material. In all cases, she showed want a great songwriting talent she is. She breezed through her half-hour set and left me personally wanting some more. The songs she chose for the set, such as Pilots, Letters, Hurricane and A Matter of Time, were all in the mellow end of her repertoire and were perfect for a solo show in an intimate house concert setting. Her soulful, expressive voice was easily able to fill the room with the pure emotion of each song. I was a pleasure having Laura perform on Bonnie Branch.
Stephen Simmons started his set with a powerful number—Don't Mind Me—about a man all alone in life with his troubles who refuses help or even a friendly voice: "It's a matter of pride/ and I go it alone/ so you think it ain't right/ why don't you mind your own" That set the tone for the evening pretty well: Powerful songwriting, stories about the gritty side of life, and an edgy voice that makes the impact of each song all the more keenly felt. As I mentioned in my introduction, much of what drew me to Stephen was his way of singing about the dichotomy in small-town America between religion and raising hell. He certainly didn't disappoint us by staying away from the subject! Time To Pay, Forgive Me Father, Drink Ring Jesus and The Devil's Work Is Never Done were among the songs he sang for us. Lest you think that he only sings about the darker side of life, he did throw in one love song! So there's hope for him yet to storm the pop music world!
I want to thank everyone again for coming out to the show and I hope to see you back again.
Laura, Ryan & Stephen after the show
Laura opens the show
Stephen starts things off with with a little harmonica
The set list for the evening