Funding for the arts in schools and communities is dwindling nationally. Thankfully, there are organizations like the Levitt Foundation who are pumping money into small cities to promote free live music. Frederick, MD is one such community who benefited from such a grant and they brought in one of my favorite country/roots singers, Logan Brill for a Tuesday night concert on a very hot night in July.
Brill is a Knoxville native who has been gaining fans ever since her debut album Walking Wires was released in 2013. She’s played the Opry, opened up for the legendary Steve Earle and released one of 2015’s best albums Shuteye.
Brill hit the Carroll Creek waterfront stage opening with the sultry “Shuteye,” followed by her lively cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” into her SiriusXM The Highway single “World Still Round,” which incidentally may be one of my favorite bittersweet songs in recent memory. She easily could have dropped the mic after those three songs and the night would have been perfect, but thankfully, she and her band played for another hour to the delight of everyone in attendance.
Brill’s stunning song, “The Women on Your Mind,” which she originally sang with David Nail, was without his impeccable vocals, but it sounded otherworldly with just her singing it, and she mentioned that she returned the favor and is singing a song on the “Let It Rain” singer’s new album.
While Brill has plenty of her own songs to perform, she found time in her set to play invigorating covers of Eric Church’s “Springsteen,” Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’,” Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and Bonnie Raitt’s “Love Me Like A Man” which was sweatier than this particular summer night.
Other highlights included the country blues groover “Don’t Pick It Up,” “The Bees” which she wrote at a family friend’s house after her Annapolis, MD show a couple years ago (the show I “discovered” her while opening for Earle), and the stunning “Wailing Wall,” a song she wrote and released in partnership with Massachusetts-based charity organization Montachusett Veterans’ Outreach Center which draws attention to women Veterans’ issues with proceeds of sales benefiting the organization.
There’s something to be said for supporting the arts in schools as well as in communities. It’s exciting to see that there are foundations out there willing to promote great music in smaller communities with no further agenda than bringing music fans together. Logan Brill is a perfect fit for such ventures. Her music appeals to those who like country, roots and blues music. She’s an amazing singer and someone I look forward to seeing and chatting with after shows for years to come.