I’m not typically one for weeknight concerts. To be fair, I’m always up for a concert. But the older I get, the louder I hear “you have work tomorrow” echoing in my head while in route to the venue. Lucky, Surly hears this too. And with a 5pm showtime, they know how to quiet that warning well. But even with an early show time, I found myself in line at the venue realizing that I didn’t care it was a weeknight. And the few hundred people in line next to me didn’t seem to mind either.
Who I’m here to see, and perhaps who I’m most excited for in the lineup, is Savannah Conley, an americana singer out of Nashville. In my preview earlier this week, I had listed out a few of the reasons why Savannah stands out among a growing number of musicians reviving americana music. Already an accomplished musician at 22, Savannah’s EP has garnered the attention of Vance Joy, The Head and The Heart, as well as Willie Nelson and Brandi Carlile to name a few. All of whom she’s toured with, too.
The reason for this lies in her award winning songwriting, and her great voice. Savannah’s songwriting is good at finding simple but powerful points in a song. She sings a line in Midnight Train, off her 18th and Portland EP, “I wanna see the world, Travel with the clouds at my heels, I wanna fly over the rivers and oceans, Until I’ve finally had my fill”
It was this kind of songwriting, and a voice like Emmylou, that grabbed the attention of concertgoers last night at Surly Festival Field. Savannah took to the stage just after 6, and performed a solo set to a rather large audience, with the instruments draped behind her in cloth. Switching between guitars, she performed well, yelping and howling on songs like “Whats the Point” and her new song “Never Be Ourselves” off her Twenty-Twenty EP. She took time to address the blazing heat of the afternoon as well. “Last time I was here it was -22 Outside” she laughed “Now, not so much.” Savannah’s ability to talk with the crowd also made her stand out among the other acts of the night. Before singing “My saddest song of the set” “All I wanted was you” she told us all about when she shared the song with her grandmother for the first time, who became very concerned. She ended her set with “Being Around You”
Savannah is one of those rare musicians who know exactly where they’re headed, and is riding the wave there.Tonight she played a brewery-of all places-however It’s clear that within the next few years we’ll see her play a full concert of her own at larger theaters and stadiums.