Acoustic singer-songwriter and blues master Jeremy Wallace rolled into the cozy, little second-floor coffeehouse that is Caffe Lena last Friday evening, reeling through an evening of his patented blues style that fuses instrumental prowess to gruff, whisky-soaked vocals that fall somewhere between early Tom Waits and classic Leon Redbone.
Accompanied by upright bassist and long-time collaborator Matt Gruening, the retro-looking Wallace sat in a chair on the stage playing his guitar, telling a joke or two and singing his heart out to a near-capacity crowd of fans.
Wallace has become a favorite at the legendary Saratoga coffeehouse because of his wry, wiry songs, tongue-in-cheek humor and classic blues guitar style. Last year, Wallace’s Caffe Lena show was part of the coffeehouse’s sold-out 50th anniversary Decades concert series. This time around, his performance was the linchpin concert of the Caffe’s annual Acoustic Blues Festival Weekend. And you can bet that Wallace – and his fans – will certainly be back for more again next year, too…
Review and photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk