Material: These are thoughtfully crafted acoustic song with clever lyrics. Artin cites Stevie Nicks as a major influence and definitely has a gypsy vibe, at points even throwing in some snippets of Stevie covers. “I Won’t Go” is a definite highlight of Artin’s set of originals. This love letter to her wife is a wonderfully uplifting song. The lyrics here and throughout her set contain a positive message on how we create our own reality with the power of positive thinking.
Musicianship: Although the group is a simple trio, the mix becomes something much more sophisticated. The bass is an integral element of the sound too and is wonderfully crisp and clear thanks to the delicate percussion work by Brown. While wind chimes can be overdone, Brown is very selective with this tool and others, creating dreamy finale fade outs and snappy beats. Artin excels at chunky rhythms and dynamic control, supporting the rest of her group on songs like “I’m Through With You” and “Indulge” where she gives Brown and Elliott the chance to solo with tight breaks from all.
Performance: It is no easy task to open for a headliner like the legendary Kenny Loggins, and Artin was understandably nervous, but this did not hinder the actual performance of each of her songs. Artin’s voice has an aching soulfulness almost comparable to the late great Laura Branigan. Like that artist, Artin really knows how to hold a note and let it gently sustain, sometimes aided by sweet harmonies from Elliott. Artin was gracious to Loggins in her segues, but at one point unfortunately got herself heckled by comparing him to Justin Beiber, which met with a collective groan. She started to lose the crowd here primarily because she let that banter go on. All that said she was still able to encourage audience participation and got the crowd clapping.
Summary: Artin is a solid guitarist with a lovely voice. She only stands to grow by limiting her time spent on bantering. For example, by only introducing her songs and band members she’ll tighten up her show to really pack a punch and bring the focus back on what is actually strong material. Her voice is also a highlight of her performance and she could really work on playing up that power even more to wow her crowd.
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The Players: Ayline Artin, guitar, vocalist; Derrick Elliott, bass; Oliver C. Brown, percussionist.