Live Concert Photography: Yola at Rockwood Music Hall 2/6/19
Over the past few months, I’ve written a bit about the up-and-coming London-based singer/songwriter Yola, and as you may recall she’s led a rather remarkable life — the sort that sounds as though it should eventually be made into an inspiring biopic: She grew up extremely poor and as a child was actually banned from making music. As an adult, she has overcome homelessness, being an abusive relationship, stress-induced voice loss and literally being engulfed in flames in a house fire, and all of those things inspired her Dan Auerbach-proudced full-length debut Walk Through Fire, slated for a February 22, 2019 release through Easy Eye Sound.
Starting off what may be a massive 2019, the up-and-coming British singer/songwriter has received praise from a number of major media outlets both nationally and internationally including NPR, Rolling Stone, Wall Street Journal, The Tennessean, Refinery 29, Billboard, American Songwriter, BrooklynVegan, Nashville Scene, Paste and Stereogum. But perhaps much more interesting for you reader, listener and viewer, Yola has had a lengthy career as a backing vocalist, songwriter and guest vocalist on a number of pop hits — and she has opened for James Brown and briefly was a member of the renowned trip hop act Massive Attack before traveling to Nashville to work with Auerbach and a backing band that features musicians, who have worked with Elvis and Aretha Franklin.
Yola made her impressive Rockwood Music Hall debut the other day, and the set was centered around the material off Walk Through Fire, including “Ride Out in the Country,” a Muscle Shoals-like take on honky tonk country that brought Sandra Rhodes’ Where’s Your Love Been to mind; “Faraway Look,” a swooning and remarkably well-crafted, Phil Spector Wall of Sound, meets classic Motown Records-like track centered around a twinkling arrangement that was roomy enough for Yola’s incredible vocal range to shine; and “Love All Night (Work All Day),” a slick, soulful amalgamation of Motown, Muscle Shoals, Nashville country and 70s AM rock that comes from lived-in experience and hard-fought and hard-earned experience.
Check out photos from the set below.