Ember Swift

There are many ways I find new music: magazines, TV, web, newspapers, radio, etc. But the most influential is a personal recommendation. So when our fellow Edhead Meg told us we had to come to Charlottesville last weekend and check out Ember Swift, we said sure. Of course we’d had Meg and her husband up our way a couple times, so it was time to return the favor anyway. We didn’t regret the trip, as it was a fantastic show.

Ember is an attractive blonde with a fascinating voice that’s a mix of Ani DiFranco and Erin McKeown with bits of Peggy Lee and Chrissy Hynde thrown in. She’s a talented guitarist, but the technical skills in the performance were on the shoulders of Lyndell Montgomery. She’s got a nice voice that reminded me of Erin McKeown, but what makes you watch her is her musicianship. She plays the bass like Les Claypool (and has a great two handed fret tapping technique) and the electric violin like Mark Wood.

Together they put on a mesmerizing show. There were songs in French (they’re Canadian), political songs, and instrumentals, but we enjoyed them all, even though we were hearing most of them for the first time. The emotional high was probably the show closer, “Pek”, but my favorite song was “Some Fine Day”. Sometimes it takes me a little while to like an artist, but that show turned me into a fan. Now we’ll go see them again this Friday at Jammin’ Java; Meg’s decided to join us for that as well, and it’s always fun with a crowd.

Could she be the next Tori, Fiona, or Ani? She’s very unique, but only time will tell. If she does, you heard it here first.