Concert Review: Courtney Marie Andrews @ Rock and Roll Hotel (9/20/18)

Courtney Marie Andrews
Courtney Marie Andrews @ Rock and Roll Hotel on Sept. 20th.

You should really give Courtney Marie Andrews a chance. She’s good!

There is something simple about country music that I enjoy.

It speaks to real life issues, without any pretense or bravado. You can talk about your dog, or your heartbreak, or your guitar, or your time on the road, add some twang, some heartfelt lyrics and a melody, and as you listen, you can imagine yourself living it.

Courtney Marie Andrews, from Phoenix, performed at great country music set for those dedicated enough to be at the Rock and Roll Hotel on Thursday, September 20th. The crowd was small, but the energy was high. Based on my searching the nearby faces research, the smiles and the ‘oh wow, she’s good’ looks stood out.

Our first impression of Courtney’s incredible voice came in the form of “Long Road Back to You”, with a slow, forlorn twang that focuses on everyday things in times of loneliness.

Next was “Two Cold Nights in Buffalo”, trending towards my favorite country song title ever, and “Table for One”, continuing the theme of being alone, this time with a spine-tingling guitar intro and Courtney with a wavering, emotional voice.

I was able to get right up to the stage, and before Courtney and her backing band of four took their places, I admired the guitars waiting expectantly on the stage floor, especially the blazing red guitar that she would sometimes play. She also played the piano (keyboard) a few times. But my favorite piece of equipment was easily Courtney’s tan, leather guitar strap with an embroidered cactus.

“This House” was about Tucker, the best golden retriever, and “Border” was about her hometown of Phoenix, which came with a story of the crazy sheriff that reigned supreme and a message of tolerance.

Towards the end of the main set, she set down her guitar and sang wistfully and danced for “Sea Town”. The last song of the main set shared the title of her sixth album, “May Your Kindness Remain”. The words also adorned the bass drum, a theme for the fine evening.

Courtney returned for the encore alone, singing “Heart and Mind”, a song she’s only performed live three times. And finally “Irene”, with the full weight of the band, sharing lessons of humbleness and taking charge of your own destiny.

Take charge and give Courtney’s songs a whirl, even if country isn’t normally your thing, you may just find a new thing.

Setlist
Long Road Back to You
Two Cold Nights in Buffalo
Table for One
Near You
Rough Around the Edges
This House
Kindness of Strangers
How Quickly Your Heart Mends
Border
Set It Free (I think)
Sea Town
(unknown new song)
A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like) (Aretha Franklin cover)
May Your Kindness Remain

Encore
Heart and Mind
Irene

Guitars

Courtney Marie Andrews

Author: Jeremy Bailey

Writer and editor living in Washington, D.C.

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