Material: Jessica Meuse is no stranger to fierce competition. Her Alabama roots were bred from a genre of music that is known for producing prolific female soloists who write, produce and play multiple instruments. So it’s no surprise that her propensity for performing live shows nearly propelled her to a victorious finish during season number 13 of American Idol. Since her debut appearance on that series, this country singer has released two full-length albums. Her most recent project, Halfhearted, is a collection of sentimental compositions that span the genres of country, country pop and country-rock. Break-up songs like “Thank God It Didn’t Work” tell of her spiritual growth, her independence, as well as her heartaches.
Musicianship: When Meuse performed her original composition “Blue Eyed Lie” in 2014 for the first time on network television, it practically made the singer-songwriter a household name. Since then, her vocal range and endearing stage presence continues to hold a loyal fan base. Perhaps that is because she displays the same genuine vulnerability in her music that she showcased on national television five years ago. The artist’s live rendition of “Done” emphasizes that notion even further. This acoustic rock song is the story of a woman whose expectations for a romantic relationship were shattered by neglect and abuse.
Performance: With her Southern accent humming throughout the intimate setting at Bar Lubitsch, Jessica Meuse played an acoustic set by her lonesome in front of a packed house. The self-proclaimed “One Woman Show” performed original material along with a small selection of cover songs by mainstream artists. The most poignant was a rendition of “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper where Meuse added a tasteful touch of raspy vocalization to the high notes of the chorus section.
Summary: Holding true to the sincerity that galvanized millions of viewers during her stint on a nationally televised competition show, Jessica Meuse divulged to the live audience that most of the original songs that she played were about her ex-boyfriend. The singer-songwriter also explained how the spirituality and introspection of her music harken back to her upbringing in Slapout, AL. Heartfelt moments like this made her acoustic performance all the more real.
Players: Jessica Meuse, vocals, guitar.