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Sonya Kitchell at Iota

By Stephen Brookes • The Washington Post • October 6, 2008

Sonya KitchellGiven that she's barely out of high school, there's not much baby fat left in Sonya Kitchell's music. In fact, the singer-songwriter (who, at 19, has just released her second disc) is emerging as an adventurous musician subtle beyond her years, with a grit-and-honey voice that does pretty much whatever she wants it to -- and she wants it to do a lot.

She's been exploring everything from jazz (recently touring with Herbie Hancock) to pop to country. But on Saturday night at Iota she tore into an hour of the smart, thinking-person's folk-rock that may show off her voice at its best.

Focusing on material from her new disc, "This Storm," Kitchell seemed utterly confident, growling through the bluesy "Running," soaring ethereally in "Walk Away" and unleashing pure adrenaline in the white-hot "Fire."  Even a too-cute take on the 1920s hit "Tonight You Belong to Me" came off with style.

While the evening belonged to Kitchell, it was genius to team her up with the avant-rock trio The Slip. Her songs don't really push the limits of folk-rock, but guitarist Brad Barr added a provocative edge to the evening, carving out dark solos that exploded periodically into detailed hurricanes of sound. It made a perfect foil for Kitchell's singing, and pushed her music into a new -- and extremely interesting -- world.

Posted on Tuesday, October 7, 2008 at 10:41AM by Registered CommenterStephen Brookes | CommentsPost a Comment

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