- Anitra Jay
WRAP up the “weekend of the songwriter” (yep, we’re calling it that) with Sunday dinner and music before plunging back into the work week. This edition of the SSS brings some great young talent, including Anitra Jay, John Russell, Andrew Gill, and Roy Swindelle.
Jay, a New Orleans native currently based in Charlotte, was deeply nfluenced by her hometown’s plethora of gospel, jazz, blues, and R&B. She grew up singing in church choir and taught herself piano in high school, but she didn’t pick up guitar until after college; once she purchased a dark blue guitar on a whim, she began writing original songs, and hasn’t looked back.
Jay deftly blends R&B grooves with up-tempo guitar picking and a dynamic vocal range. Among poetic musings, pop hooks, and sultry harmonies, the neo-soul heart at the center of her songs is fresh and addictive; you may find yourself dancing in your chair.
John Russell has been making waves since his big return from South by Southwest, where he was hand-picked to perform by John Legend. A songwriter of diverse influences, Russell incorporates pop, jazz, soul, funk, blues, and rock into his compositions.
After his big fest debut, Russell is being courted by a number of labels—better see him in the relaxed environment of the Songwriters Series while you still can.
Locals Andrew Gill, a strong vocalist and lyricist who often performs around town by himself or with the Andrew Gill Band, joins, as does Roy Swindelle.