Concert Review: Abby Payne - Nate & Kate - Cyber Cafe West - Binghamton, NY - Feb 14, 2009

This is something I may do from time to time, when an event strikes me in a such away that it inspires my sharing it.

Tonight I decided to head on over to the Cyber Cafe West in Binghamton, NY. There were two groups on the bill, Nate And Kate, who I was familiar with, and Abby Payne, with whom I was not. They were both absolutely wonderful.

Nate And Kate started the evening with their sometimes joyous, sometimes melancholy, but always passionate folk-inspired songs which kept the audience captivated and entertained. It was a rare treat to watch and listen to two people so devoted to their art and audience.

Beyond their perfectly crafted originals, including their chug-chugging, whistle howling, steam billowing train song "Freight Train Play That Song", an additional highlight was their simply delivered cover of The Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody" and the truly beautiful cover of "A Kiss At The End Of The Rainbow", originally performed by the fictitious duo Mitch and Mickey in the Christopher Guest satire "A Mighty Wind". I almost started chanting "Mickey!, Mickey!, Mitch!, Mitch!", but I didn't want to be THAT guy (Those who have seen the movie will understand. Those who haven't absolutely must).

All in all they are a completely original and refreshing sound and should be checked out by anyone who enjoys REALLY good music at www.myspace.com/nateandkatemusic or www.nateandkatemusic.com/
Their CD "Fame By Frame" is available at cdbaby.com/cd/natekate

Next up was Abby Payne and her band from New York City. What an absolute pleasure it was to bump into such an oxygen-infusing, jaw dropping songwriter and singer. Her sound is a brilliant blend of Powerpop and Piano Rock that basically renders you unable to stop tapping your foot and bopping your head.

The set was opened with the hard-hitting "Bad One" from her latest album "In A Pretty Box", available at cdbaby.com/cd/abbypayne. That set the tone for the rest of the night, which was filled with some of the catchiest, most well-written music I've had the pleasure to come across in a long time.

Featuring the rock solid and tone-warping bassist Chris Anderson, tight, funky and pocket drummer Kenny Shaw, steady-fingered and soundscape-weaving keyboardist Jacob Pleakis, and of course the boldly sweet vocals and imaginative piano stylings of Abby Payne herself, the band was absolutely perfect.

In terms of covers, it didn't hurt that they played songs by three of my biggest musical influences of all time, Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U", Ben Folds' "You Don't Know Me", and Tori Amos' "Precious Things". It was almost as if I had selected the songs I wanted to hear and they played them. What wonderful taste in music!

I left the cafe tonight feeling more inspired than ever to immerse myself in my music, and I thank them all for that.

It's amazing what you can come across when you're bored on Valentine's Day and decide to get out of the house. I'll be sure to continue following these two groups.

Musician contact/website info:

Nate And Kate:



Abby Payne:




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