Please don’t take the fact that I haven’t written a lot about the Mercy Lounge’s week of free shows as anything other than laziness on my part. Okay, maybe not laziness so much as an attempt to write about other free events that might not have been able to get as much publicity, but with tonight’s lineup at N4F’s favorite club for free shows I just couldn’t help but speak up.
Thad Cockrell & Courtney Jaye, Matthew Ryan, Brian Ritchey, Kopecky Family Band; it’s like someone put my iPod on shuffle. Well, at least the Americana and Rock genres on shuffle. I’m not as familiar with Tyler James and Keegan Dewitt, but I’ve heard great things about them.
As great as this whole lineup is, two names really stand out to me. Matthew Ryan and Brian Ritchey. A few years ago Matthew and Brian, along with David Mead and perhaps another singer/songwriter or two, would play these monthly writers rounds at the Rutledge and they were always fantastic. When I started going I was really only familiar with Matthew Ryan thanks to a family friend in Cincinnati who has fantastic taste, but my god, everyone who played in those writers rounds was incredible, and since I haven’t seen either Ryan or Ritchey since the Rutledge I’m excited to see them both at the Mercy Lounge tonight. They’re both great songwriters who might be thrown into the vast genre of Ameriana, but make no mistake, these guys know how to rock.
Hell, even if you ignore the rest of the lineup (which is pretty stellar) and just come to see a few songs each by Ryan and Ritchey I feel pretty confident that at the end of the night all you’ll be able to do is look at the person next to you, nod, and say “wow. yes.”