Charming and soulful, Yola impresses with soaring vocals and hypnotic performances

It was September 5th in St. Louis and I buckled down and snagged last minute tickets to the show after justifying the ticket price to myself to see Kacey Musgraves in a non-stadium venue for the 20th time in 24 hours. To be honest, I didn’t even look who was opening the show when I bought the tickets. I’ve played Golden Hour more than any album in the last year and wanted to see Kacey Musgraves before I had to do it in a stadium.

As special guest Yola tells the crowd the story of “Walk Through Fire,” a song recorded with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys at Easy Eye Sound and also the title track of her latest album, I realized I would become a lifetime fan of this charming, soulful songstress.

A deep and determined voice that bellows through Stifel Theater in St. Louis, Yola is the epitome of talent, power and beauty. Yola may be opening for Kacey Musgraves now, but her artistry is well-recognized. A little bit blues, a dash of country and a familiarity a la Aretha Franklin, Yola is a sensational musician you should absolutely add to your rotation. As her pleated chiffon skirt sways with each guitar chord to the tune of every lyric, I’m hypnotized more intensely with every downstroke of her acoustic. She talks about giving out her time to anyone and everyone in her 20’s with “Shady Grove,” a beautiful piano introduction followed by the angelic vocals: “A little shady grove, A memory long ago, A tale too old to know the ending.

From her winsome English accent to her breathtaking vocal skills, I’m more enthralled with each song. She covers “Goodbye Yellowbrick Road” with unprecedented, superb execution. I’m smiling ear to ear. If you’re looking for another amazing female vocalist to obsess over on Spotify, look no further than Yola. No gimmicks, no bullshit, no choreography. Pure raw talent and stage presence is Yola. 

As the crowd fills in completely and the set wraps to a close, Yola introduces “It Ain’t Easier,” a love song about recognizing the work a real relationship takes when you’re in something for the long haul. As songs begins to wind down, Yola’s voice soars and resounds around the crowd at Stifel Theater with such magnificence she and the band receive a standing ovation.

Yola also appears on the new song “The Highwomen,” by the band of the same name, alongside Maren Morris, Brandi Carlisle, Natalie Hemby and Amanda Shires. You can catch her live on the road with Kacey Musgraves “Oh What A World” Tour or purchase her albums Walk Through Fire and Orphan Offering via Easy Eye Sound.

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TAGS: Kasey Musgraves | Yola | The Black Keys | Easy Eye Sound


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Jessi McKee

Email: jmckee.spinningthoughts@outlook.com
Twitter: @jmckeephotos

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