As 2016 winds down into its final days, I am encouraged by all of the signs of growth our music scene has shown this year.
For one thing, there are a ton of new Lehigh Valley Music Awards nominees on this year’s ballot. You can vote at LehighValleyMusicAwards.org through Wednesday, December 28 for who you think are the best and brightest stars on your music scene.
There are also plenty of new opportunities popping up for artists — and, especially, original artists — all over the Valley. We attended one of those on Saturday, catching some of the first ever Living Room Sessions at Easton Public Market’s Scratch.
Winter weather earlier in the day did not deter the crowds from coming out — both the bar area and tables were packed for the inaugural installment of the new music series to see local artists Mt. Shasta and Amanda Thorpe alongside Philly’s Elaine Rasnake and A Day Without Love, who braved the conditions to perform. Of course, it was all for a good cause — the folks in attendance donated to Safe Harbor Easton, giving the homeless shelter a boost this holiday season.
In particular, we caught the opening set from Mt. Shasta, the solo project of local musician (and Living Room Sessions organizer) Andrew Sheldon. Sheldon started the evening off on a mellow note, adding musical layers to his downtempo tunes via looping effects to create a rich, ambient soundscape.
We also caught some of Amanda Thorpe’s set, and I was very happy to have encountered this talented singer-songwriter for the first time. Her voice is soulful, leaning just a bit toward R&B, and I’m hoping to hear much more from her in 2017 and beyond. I also snagged this video, which I think provides a taste of how pleasant of a listening experience she provides.
The Living Room Sessions fun will keep rolling into January, with Pentley Holmes scheduled for the first edition of 2017. And, in case you want to get your fix at Scratch before then, you can mark a few dates on your calendar. See below…