Nicole Atkins

With her rich, powerful voice seemingly built for arenas and a songwriting style that blends rock, folk and psychedelia, Nicole Atkins sings like a headlining star of a bygone era. Because of this, it was a treat to hear her perform within the snug (albeit sparsely attended) setting of the Cosmopolitan’s Book & Stage on May 7. Atkins’ emotionally packed songs, especially those from her most recent album, Mondo Amore, deal with painful issues such as deception and relationships gone wrong, but she even made heartache sound uplifting. The New Jersey-born artist channeled Roy Orbison and PJ Harvey with her haunting delivery, while guitarist Irina Yalkowsky complemented her with some equally expressive slide playing, delivering a deep range of emotional feedback that is deserving of greater acclaim.

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Martin Sexton

Concert Review

Martin Sexton

By Deanna Rilling

Translating his music to the stage with the right amount of liberty from album versions, Martin Sexton’s April 28 solo show at the Hard Rock Café was a great night for those who appreciate a finely crafted tune. Unfortunately, those music appreciators only numbered about 50 people. (Just to give a little perspective, the Syracuse, N.Y.-based singer has sold out three upcoming shows in New York City). On the bright side, the intimate setting allowed for pleasant bantering and a full view of the singer/songwriter’s unabashed emotion.