On Friday night, Kansas City was a hotbed of activity. Wicked was playing at The Music Hall, Charlotte was playing Miami at the Sprint Center and, of course, ZZ Ward was at the Midland Theater, with support from The Wild Feathers and James Bay. Though each of the artists, all in the blues tradition, are up and comers, they certainly have a strong following, as evidenced by the capacity, standing-room-only, Midland Audience that night. The timing for the show could not be more perfect either; Kansas City’s 18th and Vine Jazz & Blues Festival, at the American Jazz Museum would kick off less than 24 hours after the show.
James Bay, from the UK, was on his first US tour and expressed a lot of excitement about having released his first EP, which he had on hand for anyone who wanted one; he wasn’t there to sell, just to share his music (needless to say, they went fast!) In the blues tradition, it was one man with his guitar and battered fedora.
The Wild Feathers took the stage shortly after and had a full band and brought a lot of sound with them. The energy they brought was palpable, which feed to the audience right back to them. These guys will be, without question, one of the bigger names in the blues community in the next 5-10 years, so keep on the lookout for them.
Around 10:00, the headliner, ZZ Ward, took to the stage. Though she only released her debut album in 2012, the splash she has made in the music industry has been massive, with NPR prophesying her stardom. She blends traditional jazzy vocals, with a hint of country and hip-hop that brands her with a unique style and lets her run the gamut of emotions in her songs (check out Put the Gun Down and When the Coffin Drops).
For more information about the artists, please visit their webpages below. Also, please don’t forget to like and share.