[REVIEW] No Country Presents: Femke & Dara Sisterhen | 1.20.15 @ Acme Feed & Seed

Photo by Sundel Perry

Femke, Dara Sisterhen
Acme Feed & Seed; Nashville, TN
January 20, 2015

Review by Philip Obenschain (@pobenschain). Photos by Shawn Jackson.

Every single Tuesday for the past several months, we’ve been teaming up with hip new restaurant and performance space Acme Feed & Seed to host a free showcase of some of our favorite emerging local (and national) talent. For our latest installment, which marked our third Acme showcase of the new year, we hosted local pop singer Femke, along with folky singer-songwriter Dara Sisterhen. Read on for more about it!

Photo by Sundel PerryDara Sisterhen. Photo by Shawn Jackson.

There’s no better way to describe Dara Sisterhen than skilled beyond years. From the moment the stepped on the stage, the 18 year old Nashville transplant (we’d never have guessed her age if we didn’t already know) commanded the room with a seasoned, relaxed delivery of folk-informed and retro-leaning tunes. Backed by a skilled band (who were also quite young), Dara reinforced the authenticity of her artistry through a sincere and welcoming set, shattering any questions as to her musical legitimacy those familiar with her acting career might have (while she’s appeared on Nickelodeon and Disney, she’s the polar opposite from a Miley Cyrus or a Victoria Justice type). Warm and appreciative, Dara let the music speak for itself, hypnotizing the packed space with her exploration of retro folk and rock funneled through a modern singer-songwriter sensibility. Dara Sisterhorn is an incredible talent, but we knew that going in. Getting to see her at this age and this transitional moment of what is sure to be a long career, though, is what made her Acme outing extra special.

Photo by Sundel PerryDara Sisterhen. Photo by Shawn Jackson.

Next up, Femke, the live pop alias of eclectic and renowned singer and producer Femke Weidema, began to set up a plethora of keyboards and percussion: always a sure sign that we’re in for a fun performance. While we’d previously seen the singer perform as part of local folk/Americana duo Cotton Wine, her current direction is drastically different, and, with soaring hooks, unabashedly pop melodies, and infectious delivery, it sucked us in immediately. Femke is a delight to watch live; a performer with years of experience in so many different contexts, and, at this point in her career, an artist who knows exactly what she wants. Alternating between accordion, ukulele, and keyboard, and backed by a guitar and an arsenal of drums and percussion, Femke’s set was an aural assault of unforgettable pop, and left us salivating at the thought of her upcoming album. We love to brag about how full of talent this city is, but, even at our humble little Tuesday night showcase, the talent really speaks for itself.

Photo by Sundel PerryFemke. Photo by Shawn Jackson.

Our free, weekly Tuesday night showcase at Acme continues this Tuesday, Jan. 23, with Kristin Diable and Christian Luthi. We hope to see you there!

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