The events of the past year no doubt stung more deeply without the joy of live music, and this past weekend we got a concrete reminder of what we’d been missing when two of Dallas’ prodigious natives came together at The Kessler.
On Saturday, indie queen Sarah Jaffe headlined a show at the theater with opener Keite Young, the fiery frontman for Medicine Man Revival, who played a solo set.
While the two singers are known for their blazing live presence (one of Jaffe’s most memorable last performances was a symphonic production at the Meyerson), toward the end of their Saturday show, their distinct vocals joined in a stripped-down, sweet symbiosis on Jaffe’s most popular song, “Clementine.”
Normally, the song makes for a perfect closer as a crowd sing-along, but on Saturday, like Jaffe’s manager Tami Thomsen wrote on a Facebook post, “You could hear a pin drop.”
Young says the performance was unrehearsed.
“It was humbling to stand there with Sarah and add my feelings to a song that so many people love,” he says. “Sarah’s vulnerability is her brilliance. There was no prep or rehearsal so what happened in those moments was a one of one experience. I wouldn’t have had it another way.”
Jaffe and Young have collaborated on other projects, and Young's vocal talent has been solicited by seemingly every musician with a Grammy: John Mayer, Leon Bridges, Kirk Franklin and Bobby Sessions, to name a few.
The warmth in Jaffe’s delivery and the soothing soul in Young’s gentle harmonies reminded us of the wide range in local talent and made us hope for a new version of "Clementine" we didn't know could exist.
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