If I had to pick my five favorite albums of 2015 I’m almost positive that Logan Brill’s Shuteye would make the list. The Knoxville native, now residing in Nashville, first caught my ears (and eyes) opening for Country/Americana legend Steve Earle a couple years ago. Her songs had the perfect mix of country, blues, roots and Americana to win me (and the majority of a a mostly unfamiliar audience) over.
I was excited to learn that she would be opening for Lonestar at this year’s American Music Festival in Virginia Beach and I made it a point to get there early to find a good spot near the front of the stage to see her performance. Once again, playing for a mostly unfamiliar audience, Brill certainly won people over with songs from her fantastic new album Shuteye, her acclaimed debut Walking Wires (Nashville Sound ranked it No. 6 of 2013), and some well-timed and thought-out covers that got the crowd dancing and singing along.
Brill’s set included a handful of songs off Shuteye including the show opening groover “Don’t Pick It Up,” the homegrown and pensive “The Bees,” the I’m over you and ready to move on song “World Still Round,” and the clever heartbreaker “Far Cry from You.”
Harkening back to her honkeytonkin’ days on Broadway, Brill sang a stunning version of the iconic Dolly Parton song “Jolene.” Two songs later, she did a wonderful and unexpected version of Eric Church’s “Springsteen” which had the crowd gleefully singing along to the song’s outro. Other covers throughout her set included a sexy version of Bonnie Raitt’s “Love Me Like A Man,” a rockin’ version of Tom Petty’s “American Girl,” and a hip and energetic version of Echosmith’s “Cool Kids.”
Brill struck gold with a trio of songs from her debut album with the beautifully written end of love song “Scars,” the boot stompin’ “Month of Bad Habits” and the gorgeously melancholic “Rewind.”
She asked the crowd if there were any David Nail songs in the house before playing “The Woman on Your Mind,” a duet she sings on Shuteye with the “Let it Rain” and “Whatever She’s Got” vocalist.
Saving the best for last, Brill closed her set with her new single “Shuteye,” a song that features slithering slinky guitars that smothers her sultry vocals.
Still in her early 20s, and two great albums into her budding music career, Logan Brill certainly has what it takes to make it in country music as a singer and songwriter. Having already played the Grand Ole Opry and prominent festivals like Merlefest and Stagecoach Brill is continuing to show audiences that she’s the real deal. It’s only a matter of time before one of Nashville’s major labels scoops her up and makes her a star.
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