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January 12, 2007

Paul "No Relation to Kenny" Chesne

With only two nights a week off from work these days, I really try to make the best of them. I knew that going from a "normal" (Ha!) day shift to a night shift would be a rough change (especially for someone who LIVES for live music), but I grossly underestimated the havoc it would wreak on my nightlife by almost completely obliterating it. To keep myself from losing my mind entirely, I do my absolute darndest to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE on those precious Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Which is how I found myself making the trek from Glendale to the Cinema Bar in Culver City Wednesday night to see Paul Chesne's acoustic show. I've really only seen him play once, and that was at Reckless Kelly's first appearance at the Viper Room. His sound was a little too 'rockish' for my tastes, as was his CD, but I figured that I might as well see if I liked him any better acoustically than I did with his full band.

I did.

I found that only two guitars lent itself better to the singer-songwriter aspects of alt.country, and I was able to appreciate much more what it is he had to say (I wasn't really convinced he had anything to say, or at least nothing that I could understand him saying, at his Viper Room show). Paul made the bold move of doing a show comprised entirely of new material, without any "support" from previously known songs that fans could get excited about and sing along with - and yet still managed to enrapture the small crowd (which for a while included Randy Weeks and Ramsay Midwood). He's lacking a bit in stage presence; I don't think he ever mentioned his own name, but I'm satisfied that given some more time, he'll have quite a following and formidable presence in the alt. country world.

I got to chat a bit with Paul after his show, and asked him if his new CD would be more acoustic, like this show, or more along the lines of his previous CD. I was a bit disappointed when he said the new CD would be "all over the place."

A pleasant surprise was headliner Matt Ellis, who's kind of a Tim Easton with a really sexy Australian accent. If Paul Chesne is an up-and-comer, Matt's another singer-songwriter well on his way to stardom. And not bad to look at, either.

Posted by darlin at January 12, 2007 6:26 PM