Big Harp, Maria Taylor @ Urban 10.27

Posted November 7, 2011 in

Chris Senseney and Stefanie Drootin of Big Harp.
Husband and wife duo Big Harp had the crowd rocking and rolling at the Urban Lounge on October 27. I had previously only heard the song “Everybody Pays,” which is a gently folksy tune featuring Chris Senseney’s strong, low vocals and a gently repeating guitar picking. Live, this band had so much to offer. I have never seen anyone like Big Harp. Senseney’s vocals were just as powerful live as they were on the recording, also the man has a huge range! He was hitting notes so high they make Mariah Carey sound like Barry White! On the more raucous rock and roll songs (and I mean rock and roll ‘50s style) he was yipping and hollering and going wild, tearing into guitar freakouts like a beast on benzedrine. His lovely wife, Stefanie Drootin, known for her work in Tim Kashir’s The Good Life, was right by his side in a gorgeous red western dress and cowgirl boots, grooving and dancing so prettily as she accented his work with a huge red vintage bass. I imagine Big Harp is what sexy librarians listen to while they cook pastries in high heels. The girls at the show were going wild. Hell, I was too. If you are a fan of vintage rock and roll and folk, do not let Big Harp pass you by. Following Big Harp, indie-folk legend Maria Taylor took the stage with a full band. Taylor is the definition of songbird. Known for her band Azure Ray and her flawlessly angelic and visceral vocals. She exudes love and passion to such a degree that if you can’t feel it after hearing her, you have no heart. That’s some pretty big praise to heap on a young lady, but oh my god, she deserve that and more. Taylor’s voice is soft, feminine and strong. Her career has exhibited a transition in subject matter from the darkness of depression and love lost, to pure joy. Taylor reminds me of a dove or a deer; something sacred and pure. Known for her track “The Song Beneath The Song” wherein she gently coos “it’s not a love, it’s not a love it’s not a love it’s not a love song,” you know that it is just that, a gorgeous love song. All her songs are love songs. The guitar work in her set was extremely tasteful as well. Her lead guitarist Browan Lollar frequently parted the softness of Taylor’s singing with gentle, yet adept soloing. She was backed vocally and on bass and occasionally drums by her gorgeous sister, Kate Taylor. The band frequently rotated instruments while each member sang in perfect harmony. The crowd was mesmerized as the set grew and expanded. I noticed in the middle of the set that Taylor has the most precious habit of keeping the beat with the fluttering movement of her wide, bright eyes. She is lovely and gifted indeed.
Chris Senseney and Stefanie Drootin of Big Harp. Maria Taylor