[REVIEW + PHOTOS] The Broomestix, Chris Ayer, & Adam Barnes | 3.14.17 @ Acme Feed & Seed

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The Broomestix, Chris Ayer, Adam Barnes
Acme Feed & Seed; Nashville, TN
March 14, 2017

Review by Jacob Ryan (@GonzoWithGusto). Photos by Nolan Knight.

Our long-running, free, bi-monthly Acme Feed & Seed showcase series was packed to the gills with talent on March 14! For our latest installment, we were pleased to welcome funky big band The Broomestix, indie pop performer Chris Ayer, and folk singer songwriter Adam Barnes, plus we kicked the night off with a live DJ set care of Acme Radio. Read on for a full recap of all the action, and check out some great shots from contributing photographer Nolan Knight.

After another crazy couple weeks of turbulent world and political news, I was VERY ready to get to Acme to clear my head. It’s become almost impossible to ignore things are right now, but hey, thank god for live music, helping to distract us for a precious few hours, and thankfully, we provide just such an outlet every couple weeks at Acme.

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Adam Barnes. Photo by Nolan Knight
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Walking to the bar to order a beer, I was immediately grooving to a Sam & Dave tune being laid down by the DJ. Switching up the format a little, we now usually have two bands at Acme, in addition to the DJ set to start, however on this installment we were treated to a little bit of an extra surprise. One of our scheduled performers, Chris Ayer, has been touring the US with a singing songwriting compadre, Adam Barnes, and in an effort to help his buddy get equal time/exposure, Chris gave Adam the first thirty minutes of his hour set.

The first thing that struck me about Adam Barnes was his incredible clean singing. The word pretty comes to mind when describing his voice, and I mean that as a total compliment. He performed alone, strumming his acoustic guitar in time, while maintaining pitch perfect vocals. Hailing from Oxford, England, Barnes was a long way from home, but the warm crowd was very welcoming. His somewhat melancholy fair had a Bon Iver quality to it that was simply enchanting. After three or four songs, he invited  Chris up to sing back up on an especially haunting/captivating number, and then it was time for them to switch.

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Chris Ayer. Photo by Nolan Knight.

Having spent time living/performing in California, Virginia, and New York, plus time on the road touring in between all those places, it’s safe to say Chris Ayer’s live show is polished. It became apparent immediately that he is very comfortable on stage, sharing the music that he loves, keeping time with his foot on a kick drum, plucking his well balanced guitar with ease, all while singing his infectious folky pop rock songs. Part James Taylor and part a Ed Sheeran- with movie star good looks to boot- Chris blended genre with ease as he powered through his set. For the grand finale, he brought Adam back out, and the duo finished out on a very strong note.

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The Broomestix. Photo by Nolan Knight.

To close out the evening, we were very excited to welcome local collective The Broomestix. Boasting a ten member cast, featuring a full brass section, plus keys, two guitars, bass, drums, a second nontraditional percussionist, plus an amazing frontwoman, it was safe to assume they were going to bring a very big sound to the stage at Acme. Rock, jazz, and especially funk would be represented in a big way. In the tradition of jazz and jam band, each performer was also given a chance to shine at different points in the show, with everyone getting a shot at an inspired solo. The brass taking turns in effort to out do the other. Shreddy guitar licks, smoking hot keyboard playing and a spectacular drum battle between the percussionists are all things you can look forward to at a Broomestix show. Their original track “Running From The Law” was a show stopper, and their medley of Michael Jacks “PYT,” into Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground,” nearly brought the house down. Effortlessly gliding through genre like professional skaters on ice, The Broomestix proved they are very much the real deal, despite most of the members being under the legal drinking age.

Leaving everyone in the sizable crowd begging for more, they called it quits, and another No Country Presents event was in the books. I could have grooved for another hour, easy, but it wasn’t up to me. Relive the festivities with our photo spread below, and stay tuned for more info on our next Acme showcase!

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