I’ve been introduced to Trisha Ivy on a few occasions. The first time I met her she was sitting on a stoop with Amanda outside of Bar 4 after a Barefoot & Bankside show. She didn’t perform. She was just there for support. She’s another hailing from Tennessee. Trisha is very pretty. I state that as a fact. Long, curly blonde hair. Big dark eyes, and a shining smile. Something deep down in those dark eyes, though, tells me she won’t put up with a schlub or an ass for too long. There’s nothing mean in them. At every encounter she’s flashed the warm smile and said, hi. I don’t know, maybe I was just suddenly feeling like a schlub and an ass before her. She’s very pretty. That’s a fact.
The next few times I would see her she did perform. Her shows are solid. Trisha is a charismatic singer. When she bellows a sad, somber note I feel for her. When she gets a little ruckus going, I really wish someone would teach me a country dance because toe tapping and head nodding don’t really speak my heart. Christ, is this silly wording latent, resilient country boy, or a newly acquired affectation? Whichever, Trisha’s music, like B&B, inspires me to join in. I hope I can convey the achievement that this is as this blog continues. I meant to leave my home in Georgia. I never meant to (re)ingratiate myself with the southern/country scene, ANY southern/country scene.
B&B is a band in its infancy, still trying to find and secure their groove. Trisha Ivy, on the other hand, seems to have her act together, literally. Her sets are paced well. She knows after a couple of sad songs when the patrons are staring a little too sullenly into their beers to kick it up and give them something to move to. She even has patter and jokes between songs. That sort of thing pleases me, when the stage time and the show has a “just another gig” quality, but only when it’s backed by sincere enjoyment and dedication as her gigs are. She has a day job, night job, rather, as a bartender at Hometown BBQ in Redhook (more on that joint later). This aspect draws me to her, as well. It’s obvious she came to Brooklyn to bust ass. She’s very pretty, but she doesn’t rely on that, and she doesn’t need to. I can relate to her. Not in the good looks department. Jesus, maybe not in the talent department either. I came here with a complete manuscript of my novel thinking “realistically” I’ll be a big billy badass paid writer within about two years. I’m in my sixth year. I work in a restaurant. You feel me?
I bought her ep, “Cotton Country.” At the time I found it I could have gotten it for free, but I went to amazon.com, anyway. It was five bucks, which is nothing, especially for her songs, and I wanted to help out, because with this blog and these new found good times here in the city, I feel I am being helped. I agree there’s a more traditional pop appeal to her than, say, with B&B. She doesn’t have the hard-rocker edge I normally lean toward in my listening life, nor is she trying to be a hard rocker. Her songs are melodic, pretty. Listening to the ep with my headphones on the R train I was able to hear the lyrics much clearer than I could while half-lit checkin’ her set out at Hometown or Union Hall. She’s a talented writer. Co-existing with the prettiness of her music are lyrics that bespeak a soul who’s been around, and is being honest about it. She has wit, grit, and an excellent grasp on succinct storytelling in a song.
I know I don’t speak too well of my hometown, because of its history and my own history and experiences there. However, I do have friends and family there, and beside them are good memories. Listening to that Tennessee girl up there on the stage, well, it helps to shed some of the southern grudge. Some cracks in my shell have recently been discovered, and Trisha’s music pries at them making me remember southern sweetness. I used to climb Sawnnee Mountain with friends. We smoked cigarettes and looked down upon our little town. We all had a dream of leaving it. We knew more had to be out there in the world. I had picnics in fields under a shady tree with my beautiful sweethearts who would provide all the food and blankets because I was a mostly worthless boy. I could make them laugh, though. Here I am now in the big city far, far away from home and a long time gone. And here, now, are these wonderful new southern friends set in my path with their familiar accents, and their kind hearts. Maybe that’s what it is. Maybe I was a mostly worthless boy for too long, blind from dreaming too much. Maybe I squandered too many kind hearts in my life. You feel me?