Yesterday my story on Oxford's Music in the Hall ran in the Daily Journal.
I could write a book about that experience, but I had to keep it pretty short. I thought I'd add a few more details here.
The night I went to Music in the Hall, it was a gorgeous night out. The attendees stood outside on the balcony in the cool fall air, getting their socializing in before the show started.
The wooden floors groaned and squeaked as band members loaded their gear in. The "stage" is in the back of the hall, so they had to make their way through the rows of chairs. As the audience came in, they'd put their first name on a Post-It and leave it in the seat of their chair, then go back outside.
I've heard Cary Hudson before here and there, but thanks to the electric silence of Music in the Hall, I felt like I was really hearing him for the first time. His colorful words and stories really came to life in there.
Memphis' Star & Micey was a band I'd heard of, but not heard – and this group blew me away. As I said in the story, the folk-pop six-piece challenged the hall's small space. They jumped, danced, pretended to kill each other with their guitars – all while making incredibly infectious, joyous music. When my photographer C. Todd Sherman left, he leaned over to me and asked, "Did I just see that?" That's how good Star & Micey is.
After Star & Micey, Music in the Hall's founder Daniel Morrow asked everybody to come back at about 8:20 to see the final group. Each band performs four or five songs, and the evening had started at about 7 p.m.
I borrowed Morrow's word "supergroup" to describe The Minor Adjustments, because that' what they are – some of Oxford's best musicians in one band. They ended the night perfectly, with their beautiful, sleepy country music. It's always a treat to hear Chris Steiner and Patrick McClary, who lead the group.
All in all, it was an awesome experience. I so appreciated getting the chance to really see these musicians live without having to battle a crowded bar. It was so nice to NOT hear an audience for once. :) I know I'll buy a DVD of that night when it's available.
For serious music fans, Music in the Hall is wonderful.
Morrow is expanding the idea with Out for Lunch, a free, open to the public concert series that takes place at The Lyric Oxford.
Basically, a show takes place from about 12:15-12:45 p.m., and audience members can bring their lunch there or have it delivered. These shows are also filmed.
The first one was a few weeks ago; Morrow hopes it will eventually become a weekly event. An idea for Tupelo? Hmm...