Saturday, February 26, 2011

Amy's and Monica's Birthday Concert: Stephanie Mabey and Ryan Innes


1) Stephanie - Gracious down to earth elegance when she plays, stunning blonde hair, easy rapport with the audience, sing along and fan requests shouted from amongst all those who'd gone to Bobby's Birthday House Concert some months ago, hearing renewed passion and depth in her playing, sings to keyboard and guitar, gripping soprano voice, driven lyricist - "I'm very particular about my lyrics" - who will chew on the writing one line of a song for days (recently her friends saw this in progress on Facebook), dreamy trancelike quality to her music, so no surprise she's singing songs like "Zombie" and "Wake Up Dreaming."  More recently she learned to play ukelele for the intriguing Bruno Mars' "Count On Me" for a wedding film project.  A refreshing departure from the usual array of wedding tunes such as "Unchained Melody" or "How Deep Is Your Love."


2) Ryan - Oh ... so this why Amy has been raving about Ryan for months (I missed all the previous gigs she attended somehow), flying fingers, pop, soul, is this Utah's answer to Billy Joel?, Perhaps not. His website says "If Michael Buble and Joni Mitchell had a love child raised by Jimi Hendrix and babysat by Norah Jones, that child would be Ryan Innes."  That sounds incredibly complicated, but Norah Jones as babysitter must be the perfect guy fantasy.  Sporting a newsie cap, Ryan settles into a silky rhythm on the keyboard, never missing a chance to engage the crowd.  He cuddled the audience with his rich, Buble-like vocals and drives his keyboard like a Maserati, fast and smooth.  Ballads, rock, soul, blues, lullaby-like, sometimes sultry and mellow tunes, hinting of the gentle sparks that could fly while sharing a 1940s overstuffed art deco chaise lounge with someone special.

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