Occasionally people suggest bands or artists for me to listen to or go see. This past Saturday my father-in-law suggested my wife and I meet he and my mother-in-law at a bar on one of the busiest thoroughfares in Birmingham, Highway 280. One of his cohorts he regularly plays pool with has a son who plays music and would be playing at this bar that afternoon. So, paw-in-law suggested we go check it out and maybe have a beer or two. He knows that I am a music fan, and he thought maybe I would dig it. We obliged because who would turn down a free beer? I expected a decent acoustic guitar player churning out cover upon cover of all the crowd-pleasing hit songs from yesteryear. I figured it would be fine for a Saturday afternoon. When we arrived I was
There were two people on stage one female, playing a 12-string acoustic and singing, the other, a male, banging out percussion on a “cajon” which is basically a wooden box you sit on and play drum patterns. We walked in and sat down with our beers, and I found myself enamored with these two musicians. Each switched instruments and sang and played off each other like two old pros. I would find out later that the guys name is Zach Austin and the girl, Cheyloe Martin. They were on stage playing original tunes from both artists’ repertoires. A lot of the songs and lyrics to the songs sound like they could be instant hits. Most people would probably put them in the category of Americana. I wouldn’t disagree, but I would maybe add the Alt-Country tag. As I was sitting there watching these two I felt like I could see them on a bigger stage, playing to a large crowd at the Ryman in Nashville. They sounded honest to me.
When they took their first break, I walked up and spoke with Zach and Cheyloe briefly. Both seemed eager to get their music out and make a go of this thing. I told them how much I liked their stuff, and both were cool enough to hand me some music to take home, Cheyloe’s demo and a disc of music from Zach’s other band Calling Station. Both artists have pages I’ve linked below.
Zach Austin – http://www.reverbnation.com/zachaustin
Cheyloe – http://www.reverbnation.com/cheyloe
I didn’t expect what I got when I walked into that bar, and I was more than pleasantly surprised to hear something different. If you live in the Birmingham metro area and are looking for a place to have an afternoon brewski (or 4), check out Courtyard 280 and see if you can catch Zach and Cheyloe. They might surprise you too.