Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome. See my complete profile
I always tell people it’s fun to go to shows where your haven’t heard of anyone on the bill, because you get to enjoy the thrill of discovering someone new. I had that thrill again the other night when I went to Arlene’s Grocery in NYC, although it wasn’t exactly the original plan.
Originally I came to see a band that I knew, but they were a late scratch due to illness. I’m glad I still went, because one of my discoveries that night turned out to be Ariah &, a soulful singer-songwriter from the city (FYI, her name really does end with an ampersand. This will be explained later).
A talented artist you can’t help but love, here are three reasons you should see Ariah & live.
1. She has a killer voice
In addition to Ariah’s original work, she performed two covers on this night, and I think they provide a great insight into who she is an artist. Those covers were of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good,” and a smoothed out, jazzy version of The White Stripes’ “Fell in Love with a Girl.”
The range of Ariah’s musical taste is equaled in the range of her voice, as she can go smokey and soulful, or light and airy. Either way, you can’t lose, because she’s adept at both.
2. You never know who you’re going to see
The name Ariah & stems from Ariah’s love of working with a plethora of different musicians. In her bio she notes that when she has a band assembled on stage with her, they’ll come up with something unique for after the “&” depending on the vibe of the evening, i.e. Ariah & The Time Orgy (yes, that was an actual name).
On this particular night she was joined by an upright bass player, a violinist, and a drummer, to go with her vocals and guitar. If I were to see her again in a few weeks, the lineup could be slightly altered, or completely different, but based on the caliber of the members of her band on this night, it’s safe to assume that whoever comes after the “&” is going to be a top notch player.
3. Her personality is amazing
Ariah has a naturally effusive personality, and with every mic break – whether she's discussing the backstory of a song, or the interesting origin of her band name – she becomes more and more endearing.
The transition from “artist” to “friend” happens before she’s even halfway through her set, which is why the transition from being a listener, to being a fan, happens equally as fast.
To find out when, and where, Ariah & will be performing next, check out her website for show dates.