Kevin Morby is a singer-songwriter from Texas who now lives in Brooklyn, New York. His lyrics are culturally relevant and his recent live performance at Paradiso in Amsterdam was stunning and energetic. As a start, you’ve got to listen to his Beautiful Strangers song.
I especially like this part of the lyrics below. The obvious reference to what happened at Bataclan in Paris on a Friday night in November 2015 is an ode to courage.
Pray for Paris
They cannot scare us
Or stop the music
You got a sweet voice, child
Why don’t you use it?
If I die too young, if the gunmen come, I’m full of love
So release me, every piece of me, up above
Pitchfork called it a protest song and in fact all proceeds were donated to Everytown for Gun Safety, a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence. The death theme comes across the lyrics quite prominently.
And if I die too young for something I ain’t done
Carry my name every day
Full lyrics from Genius.com
The European leg of his tour brought him to the Paradiso venue for a second time. Kevin loved playing Paradiso and during the concert he mentioned how much he had enjoyed playing in the small room and how he had told Ani di Franco that playing the big room would have been a dream come true. So there he was living the dream. He even posted a picture from an empty Paradiso earlier in the day of the concert. He was super thankful that so many people showed up.
Amsterdam ~ Paradiso ~ Tonight ~ pic.twitter.com/bCMzuMHVxL
— Kevin Morby (@kevinmorby) July 16, 2018
In this live performance from KEXP radio you can see the quality of his guitar sound. Experiencing it live was really enjoyable and it reminded me of Wilco’s live performance in 2011 in Tilburg, the Netherlands.
Kevin Morby live at Paradiso, Amsterdam
This is what I managed to grab live from the gig at Paradiso.
Near the the end of his performance, Meg Duffy (what a great name!) jumped on Kevin’s back and kept playing guitar. That was quite a moment.
Kevin’s songs take their time to settle, but once they do you’ll remember his lyrics more than the usual “I’m in love with your body”, from Ed Sheeran’s song “Shape of you” that became the most streamed song on Spotify after its release in 2017.
Besides his use of guitars, Kevin Morby’s lyrics are another prominent feature of his music.
A big shout out to Joe, Liam, and Sam who invited me to this concert. A massive hug for letting me discover this great artist!