Reviews – Shelley Segal & Adam Levy @ Bennetts Lane Jazz Club 26/07/2013

Despite recording an album together, Little March, released in March this year, Adam Levy & Shelley Segal performed in Melbourne last Friday for the first time together live.

Hailing from California, singer-songwriter-guitarist Adam Levy has recorded and performed live, most notably with Norah Jones. Melbourne singer-songwriter Shelley Segal is an international performer who has recorded in the US and the UK. The pair were recommended to each other via a producer Segal worked with previously. Little March was written in NY last year and recorded in LA in December.

Rounding up the band for the night were Jonathan Zion twanging away on his double bass and Tony Floyd brushing his way through the night on drums.

Opening track for the night was album starter Glad You Asked, kicking off with a strum of Levy’s electric guitar and softly-spoken soothing vocals, alternating to Segal on acoustic and vocals and ending in the two harmonising.

Two short sets were performed with a few jazz classics thrown in amongst the folk and blues, as well as a special performance of Norah Jones’ Don’t Know Why. Segal introduced the song as a track she’d studied in one of her music classes at University and requested that Levy play his guitar part as well as he did in the recording. He played his part with perfection as Segal took charge of Jones’ vocal part.

Little March’s Forbidden added a cheekiness to the night and the rock-y upbeat My Word was dedicated to Segal’s boyfriend in the audience.

However, the night wasn’t all just about the collaboration, as the audience were also treated to a handful of Levy’s releases. The best of his, and most fun, by far, was Got My Joy, in which Levy had the audience participating in a call-and-response in the chorus with a cheery ‘Got My Joy.’

The night concluded with Little March, which tells the story of a Romanian tradition called Martisor (translating to Little March) where little trinkets of white and red string are handed out to friends and family as gifts to mark the first day of Spring, March 1st. Segal’s father, Danny Segal, as is customary in most of her performances, joined in on violin.

Overall, the night’s performance made it apparent that the producer’s instinct on matching the two musicians was a success. The pair were bouncing off each others strumming and vocals with ease, perfection and adoration for each others talents. I’m sure this collaboration will set Segal up for more amazing opportunities with other artists and musicians in the future.

Levy, Segal and the band will perform a second show at Bennetts Lane in Melbourne on Tuesday August 6th as well as additional dates at MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Tassie and Blue Beat in Sydney.

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