by Katharine W. Poole
For Women of Music Music of Women
It’s Saturday evening and Two Old Hippies is bustling with locals and out of towners alike. The eclectic high end boutique atmosphere lends itself easily to the addition of writers rounds and musical acts. It is the perfect blend of the best of Nashville – seamlessly combining the art of cool couture shopping with the talent of Music City.
Hilary Romaine and her band Good Company – (because as she states “they are”) – take the stage with a calm and powerful presence. They bring to mind a memory of California days and Woodstock nights both in sound and vibe. Hilary’s look is a combo of Venice Beach meets East Nashville artist – her vocals catch the air and soon all patrons are gravitating toward the back listening room.
Highlights of this evening’s set were Twisted , Why Didn’t I, The Bottle Song and her old school Country song, Tear Drops and Love Songs, which takes the audience back to the days when Country songs were always intelligently written and executed. And though most of her work is more on the poetic folk side, it slides its way into the set expertly. The song When You Come Around, speaks of “the Siren’s Sound” which Hilary has captivated herself.
Guitar player Matt Walburg is not only proficient but stellar. He and Hilary have that perfect report on stage where they read each other’s minds. His solos compliment the original song set with Spanish flares and rock-n-roll dexterity.
Mandolin Player Sean Patrick McGraw adds beautiful lyrical depth to the night. Ayrton Gauerke with his beat box percussion adds just the right kind of rhythm. Background vocals performed by Trisha Holland are unique and innovative, she is a powerhouse in her own right. A bit more balance on the vocals all the way around would help to compliment Hilary’s voice and spotlight her exceptional writing.
Hilary is a gracious band leader. She shares the stage with her fellow musicians – giving them time to cover Tom Petty’s Listen To Her Heart and the James Taylor masterpiece How Sweet It Is – with Matt leading vocals and the others including Hilary adding back up vocals/harmonies.
As a writer Hilary sings the love songs and of others she has known Yet, the passion behind her performance leads one to believe her words are all about her own lost loves. The closing tune, a crowd favorite – ’Until There Was You – has people singing along with it’s uplifting lyrical movement, emulating the sailing references and the roll of the tide.
Hilary will be joining Matt Walburg and The Living Situation to kick off The Lightning 100 Block Party next Saturday @ 4:45PM Marathon Village. Her next acoustic band gig is May 22nd @ Antique Archaeology, time TBD.