Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Bright Spot in the Local Music Scene

If you were like me, when you first saw the name Winslow Bright on last Friday’s bill at the Granada Theater, you did not have the foggiest clue of who she was. In fact, I initially thought that Winslow Bright might have been a band. Never would I have imagined that she was a 17 year old girl from, of all places, Highland Park.

Perhaps even more surprising is how remarkable of a talent this young lady is. Do not let her age fool you: this is not typically teeny-bopper music a la Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus. Winslow has a gorgeous voice that ranges from cute to sultry, depending on the song. She also wrote the lyrics to the majority of the songs on her debut album, Lovable, and she has a definite way with words. “When you were barely three you could recite iambic poetry/Encyclopedic, photographic, pictionary memory/They said you were a genius girl, an IQ of 383/A scientific, word prolific, IQ-rific prodigy”, she sings in “Genius Girl”, an amusing song about a very book smart girl who loses her brain after falling in love.

Ms. Bright also received plenty of assistance from Dallas musician and producer extraordinaire, Salim Nourallah. He not only produced the album at his Pleasantry Lane Studios, but he also co-wrote all of the songs with Winslow, with the exception of her cover of Kristy MacColl’s “They Don’t Know”. The title track of the album was even originally recorded by Salim with his band Happiness Factor. Between Winslow’s lyrics and Salim’s consistent ability to write catchy melodies, the album is filled with great songs like the Roy Orbison meets Patsy Cline sounding “Could You Be My Baby” and my personal favorite, the uber-catchy “Five Thousand Miles to London”.

Even more remarkable than her CD is her ability to perform these songs live. Not only is her voice as remarkable live as recorded, but she has a definite way of connecting with the audience. She comes off as fully confident, yet never full of herself. And rarely have I seen an audience as excited to hear a performer as Ms. Bright’s audience. Most of the major name bands in Dallas would be lucky to have fans half as enthusiastic as those of Winslow Bright. Contrary to the lyrics of the title track to her album, it would seem that the audience found her to be quite lovable indeed.

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