Helen Rose & Jonah Tolchin: Live in Munich

The room was packed and dim. The dusty ads for cigarettes and ice cream that papered the walls took on a new life and the people crammed into the small room looked less like people waiting at a train station and more like an audience, ready for the music to begin. Jonah Tolchin warmed up, noodling on his guitar before diving into his first tune.

The performance space was intimate, a place one would not find unless you knew someone, or so it seemed. Patrons ranged from mid-twenties to somewhere in their sixties, except for a group of younger students who were invited by their teacher. The people were stiff from the cold air that permeated the room each time the door opened, but twenty minutes in, after the 40+ people had squeezed themselves into the small shop, the room warmed with the blues-y vibes of Jonah’s melodies.

Between the tightly packed patrons (and the occasional bumping of the light switch on and off) the listeners really relaxed into the music as the second set of the evening began, with Helen Wright joining in on the vocals. Though there were a fewer people in the room, those in the (slightly less packed) venue really began to move, especially during Helen’s powerful cover of Etta James’ “Rather Go Blind”. A pleasurable evening with some great music wrapped up with a rendition of “When the Levee Breaks” with both Jonah and Helen lending voice to the song.

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I first met Helen and Jonah in my first year of high school. I have had the great opportunity to hear them play many times, from the rehearsal rooms at school, playing under the stars, to coffee house performances, intimate venues, and recordings. It was a happy moment for me to hear them play once more, thousands of miles from where we first met. It had been a few years since I heard either Helen or Jonah play live and it was great fun to reconnect and hear how they and their music has evolved.

 

Check out Jonah at: http://www.jonahtolchin.com/

And Helen: http://littlehelenrose.com/

 

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