sweetly she sang for a swarm of us
tucked into the dimly lit room
sleeping snow outside, she grew still
closed her eyes.
when speaking softly is heard with a roar
when admirers sit up in their chairs
intoxicated with the hush and lilt of her
voice, only 23
she long ago chose sacramental
colors white, violet, red
writing songs, underlining moods
she spoke of lonely hotel rooms, life
on the road
lost, then found
drag queens, bars
sisters, guitars and, of course
her music both wild and sweet
dark and happy
celebratory, though not music for the dance floor or
barroom, not songs for the mind
but a graceful force perfumed for the heart.
when the quiet first hits you, you
know and understand
what it means for a woman
to be passionate, to stand
deeply in love
with her he(art).
*I first heard Seattle based singer-songwriter, Courtney Marie Andrews play a few songs at Anchorage’s Arctic Entries, a storytelling venue that creates community, “one story at a time.” Her voice was so soft yet packed a lot of power and made me take notice. Her tone is alluring, poetic. She’d been playing shows in house concerts around town, and we ventured out to a small venue (20-30 people) at the Super Saturated String band’s studio.
She tuned her guitar many times during the show, going in and out of an open tuning format. Her music is enchanting; she has a gentle lilting voice with a full range that has been likened by a few to match that of Joni Mitchell’s…though that’s a mighty tall order for me, I can’t argue. Her lyrics are hauntingly beautiful…about love, loss, lonely hotel rooms, home, relationships…life in all its fantastic glories, disappointments and contradictions.
Courtney is a woman who feels and knows full well how to translate her perceptive experiences to her audience. She sings with ferocious depth and emotion, exposing a vulnerability that is a trademark of her performance. Great show.