As a child I remember begging my parents to buy me one of those kid microphone stands fixed with all kinds of gadgets. I’m sure they secretly regretted it immediately as my voice echoed throughout the house nonstop from that point on. Grace Weber began singing as a young child as well, however her voice turned out a bit different. It was not a sound that only a parent could love, like mine, rather a gift so powerful that it made her second grade teacher cry at her first talent show. According to Grace, it was at that moment she realized the “true power of music.”
This last weekend, I witnessed the beauty that Grace creates through her music during her sold out show at The Rockwood Music Hall. The setting was intimate, yet full of energy. The set list came mostly from her latest album, The Refinery. When I learned about how this album came to be named, I wanted to share Grace’s own words as she expressed them so perfectly. “The definition of ‘refinery,’ is to convert raw materials into something of value. For my music, I’m trying to convert the rawness of my history and who I am, into something of emotional value.” As a songwriter as well as singer, Grace did just that. Her new album reflects life with all its imperfections. It is the combination of Grace’s insightful lyrics and soulful voice that makes her a real gem. Walking into the show, I already had a favorite song in mind, “Till I Hurt You.” She performed it with fierce emotion, yet a gentle voice. Unlike the typical songs that describes the feeling of getting hurt by someone else, Grace talks about experiencing hurt by hurting someone she loved. I can relate to her struggle because if you truly love someone, then breaking their heart also break yours. In this song, her lyrics portray a more profound form of pain and love.
What makes live shows so unique is that they allow you to not only see the interaction between the artist and the audience, but between the musicians themselves. The dynamic connection between Grace and band member Elliott Skinner in “Like A Fool” was such pure harmony that it made me leave the show with a new favorite song. It captured my heart as well as the Rockwood crowd, making us yearn for the type of unconditional love that they described. Like all of Grace’s band members, Elliott independently has a promising path of his own.
Grace also performed the song “In This Pain,” which is a tune that you just want to send to your best friend as it promises true friendship during the “darkest days.” For me, my closest friends have always been the ones who feel my pain when I am down and reassure me that I am not alone. When I heard the song live, it retained a hint of country within its soulful nature that I absolutely loved. I only wish that I could have heard Grace’s version of Sixto Rodriquez’s “Can’t Get Away” as an encore. Perhaps next time!
All together it was a memorable night and worth checking out next time she is in town. On Grace’s online journal, the young artist revealed that after learning about Rodriquez’s story, the lesson she took away was that we never know what life has planned for us, so all we can do as artists is “Create, Release & Repeat” Well Grace, please continue to do all three as I will be waiting.