Why don't more kids eat peanut-butter & jelly sandwiches with a cup of
milk at coffee shops? In a warm atmosphere as this, it only makes it
more pleasant. Tonight at the Hot Java Cafe, there are three children
present- sippy cups and all. They clap enthusiastically after every
song, like the perfect audience! There were always a few children in the
cafe, and at one time, there were five running around! I have never seen
this here, but it's wonderful.
I arrived to the cafe late, but in time to catch Chris Clark. With only
his acoustic/electric guitar and voice, he commanded attention. Even the
young boy eating potato chips was swaying along to Clark's music.
Clark admitted that he has not been active in the San Diego music scene
as he once had been, but he's getting back into things. Because of this,
he is playing some older songs, but we have the pleasure of hearing his
new pieces as well.
The fifth song he played, as of now untitled, is one he plays for his
children as they fall asleep. I cannot explain the joy that is in this
room tonight. Two of the five children in here are actually Clark's,
bringing an extra appreciation for the music. Honestly, though, the
whole room is peaceful and happy tonight. Clark's entire set is
wonderful, and it is great to see him playing live.
The Larson Sisters are now playing. They have slightly smoky voices,
which compliments the country music they play. One sister (Stephanie,
who is also the significant other of Chris Clark, as far as I know)
plays guitar and sings, while the other (Rachael) sings harmony. As they
are sisters, their voices naturally blend together. It sounded
absolutely lovely, giving the music a powerful, yet gentle feeling.
The beginning of their set seemed a bit solemn, with the guitar being
finger-picked most of the time. However, a couple of songs later, faster
strummed songs appeared in the set. One such song is "The Breakup Song,"
which is actually a happy song.
If you enjoy country music - whether happy, sad, slow, or fast - you
will enjoy hearing the Larson Sisters and their stunning harmonies.
Matthew Blake took the stage next. He, too, sang catchy country music
(or, I suppose, folk rock, as his Myspace page states). He had both
amazing vocals and guitar skills to back him up, and I really would love
to tell him to quit his day job. However, I cannot, as I have no
authority to do so. But really, I am surprised that he has not appeared
on CMT ("Country Music Television").
By this time, two of my friends had joined me in the cafe. They were
blown away as well. While I left after Blake's set, my friends stayed
behind to see the Larson Sisters take the stage once more. Blake left an
amazing impression on them and myself, testifying of the great evening
For more information, visit Web sites for
The Larson Sisters,