Smile Tunes Night

I admit that the only reason I went to Club Cafe last night was that my favorite man in the world (my big brother) was singing as an opening act in their late show. But since I'm obviously biased about how talented he is, I'll limit my discussion of his crew and try to focus on the main act, The Ragbirds.

Brother Eric jammin.
First, Eric Oliver & The Brain Festival tore shit up. Possibly the best I've seen them do since this trio formed. Eric and I are often told that we are complete opposites because I'm obnoxious and he's reserved but let me tell you that I would never have the guts to get up and sing songs that I wrote, time and time again in front of a bar full of people I do not know. Eric's voice opened up so much last night and was a clear mixture of Fergie and Jesus. (Those of you who got that little movie reference, I salute you.) Also, Joe and Kevin, who Eric's been friends with since junior high are the perfect mixture of talent, considering all three of them each play at least five instruments I'm sure. My favorite moment though was when Eric was playing banjo and tambourine at one point of a song and then walked back and killed it on the drum set. (Alright, alright...I'm a proud little sister, get over it.) Anyway, in a world of the Rebecca Black's taking over the music industry it's so refreshing to actually see musical talent displayed on stage. It's also refreshing to see such a quality friendship last over a decade and watch them come together to put on a kick-ass show.

Erin being awesome.
Speaking of talent, The Ragbirds are oozing it as well. The female-led, five member band rocked my entire world and I didn't even stay for their whole set. The lead singer, Erin, made me stand in awe while she sang (with her gorgeous-soulful-folky-angel voice) and when she played violin, mandolin, banjo, accordion and percussion during different songs. Girl = talent. Her little band of brothers behind her were also immensely talented in their various instruments but I just cannot get over her leading the way with each song. I also very much appreciated the feel of the music. It created such a fun-loving atmosphere...leading some to dance...including the band with some in sync movements, that was cute. But above all, I loved the soul of their sound. Their lyrics were heartfelt, the beats were ethnic and even though they would be considered folk, if you can imagine what the soundtrack of a sunny day at a great fair, cotton-candy included, in the middle of New Orleans would sound like, I bet it would be a very similar sound to The Ragbirds. I would definitely check them out in the future and look forward to them returning to Pittsburgh.

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