Show Review: Round 72 @ the Fremont Abbey

“I am no guitar,
no music man,
there are no pianos stashed in my throat
or back pocket.
My tongue fumbles its own chord progression
upon the strings of my voice box.
If only I could swallow a cello
and cough up something more solid
than a few words.”

So said Shelby Handler, a creative writing student of the University of Washington and an accomplished poet and public performer. . . and so set the stage for Round 72 at the Fremont Abbey, a creative collaboration between artists of many different types and skill sets: musicians Kaylee Cole, some members of the Moondoggies and Campfire OK, live painters Shannon Roche and Aung Robo as well as previously mentioned slam poet Shelby Handler and Nicole Masangkay.

The audience was fairly small and the atmosphere was casual, the music close and intimate. Before the show I treated myself to a good cup of black coffee from the donation-based cafe, drinking it while I gazed at the enchanting songstress Kaylee Cole through the gap in the piano, observing her regal tone fill the whole room. She leans back, closing her eyes and tilting her head back and forth, as if this is just a dream she is allowing us into. “You loved somebody, you will love someone again,” she croons, the chords under her fingers ringing of longing and regret, only to drift up into the corners of the room and dissipate. “We are always beginning, we are always at an end.”

But this was still only the beginning, as my ears were graced with the presence of the voices of Kevin Murphy from the Moondoggies and Mychal Cohen of Campfire OK, who added their two cents in the form of two guitars, along with other band members on upright bass, drums, and banjo. Another favorite was Mychal Cohen’s powerful delivery of the title track on Campire OK’s new album, “Strange Like We Are.”

And the end result of this collaboration of artists, you ask? A night of up close, laid back, and very personal music and art straight from the mouths (and hands) of local Seattleites. Not something to be missed.

Review by Jeremy Calvo

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