Our first Boston show did not disappoint, with a great line up of talented performers. There was something for everyone with the performers sharing an eclectic mix of themes and sounds across the 15 songs we heard.
We were excited to announce the very talented Xenia Dunford as the winner of the evening, and bring her back up for a spirited two-song encore. Thanks to all the great musicians and fans who made this a special start to Next Up Boston!
Krista kicked off the night with a song dedicated to her parents, which had an interesting take on observing and learning about a relationship you weren’t there for. Across her set, she showed great fingerstyle guitar chops and a wistful, yearning songwriting style. Krista did a great job getting the crowd involved and sharing some of the insights that helped form her thoughtful songs.
Billy shook off some backstage nerves to present a raw, soulful set that was reminiscent of acoustic Radiohead. His songs were reflective and poignant, and he backed up the compositions with strong guitar work, especially on his second track, Little Light of Mind.
Eventual evening winner Xenia Dunford immediately grabbed the audience’s ears and minds with her arresting piano style and gorgeous smoky voice. Her first song summed up the ups and downs of an artist’s life with lyrics like “some days I know just who I am / some days I’m reaching for a hand”. Her vocal range and cadence were particularly on display in her second number, “Friday Night”. Her three strong original numbers captivated the Church crowd and led her to win the evening’s prize.
Georgia is currently studying music at Berklee, and she is obviously gaining some solid songwriting and playing ability. The three songs she shared centered around romance and how it can be fleeting and confusing. Her warm personality shone through the performance and the crowd enjoyed her tunes.
Though Xenia won the evening, Samm also deserves an award for persevering through losing her voice early in the day to perform two songs for the Next Up audience. Her sweet voice was faint due to her condition, but the audience still got a good impression of her talent. Thanks again to Samm for toughing it out and sharing her music with us.