Material: For her fifth studio record launch, In Your Dreams, Meiko returned to The Hotel Café in Hollywood, where it all began for her almost a decade ago. There, she worked behind the bar and performed at an open mic night. Now with five albums under her belt, her humility and sense of humor brought a refreshing injection of humanity to her show. From “She Knows,” with its gentle, soulful storytelling, to the sassy rawness of her encore, “You Gotta Fucking Tip,” her writing and singing creates an earthy Southern blend of singer-songwriter-meets-indie-pop style.
Musicianship: Meiko’s pure vocals were somehow simultaneously gentle and strong, which served her quirky and relevant lyrics. Between sweet, vulnerable stories of love lost and found, secret trysts (“Name That Tune,” “More,” ”Leave The Lights On”), and her journey into motherhood, Meiko’s gorgeous vocal runs, smooth tone, and intriguing melodies made for a captivating and memorable evening. Bassist Ed Maxwell brought a warmth and depth to the duo’s performance, highlighting Meiko’s incredible breath control and surprising vocal ghost tones. Maxwell has played on every album, and the musical chemistry between them is possibly the real secret to their success.
Performance: There is an absolute ease about Meiko when she performs. With grace and no airs, and an innate quickness to connect with all in the room, she clearly loves to reach the crowd at a deep level. The occasional tension in her guitar chords and her raw, honest lyrics build understanding from the moment she starts to play. Maxwell’s bow work on “Reasons To Love You” and “The Cloud Song,” and Meiko’s rich vocal stylings made it easy to forget there were only two people on the stage.
Summary: With a line out the door an hour before the show, Meiko clearly has a significant following, and the crowd’s love for her is palpable. With relevant, poignant lyrics and the duo’s ability to keep the audience in the pocket, a Meiko performance makes you feel like you are having a deep but joyful conversation––set to music––with your experienced but not-yet-jaded best friend.
Players: Meiko, vocals, guitar, ukulele; Ed Maxwell, upright bass, piano