At one point watching Kasey Tyndall barrel through twenty plus songs barely stopping to catch her breath, I became convinced that having come into the world and given her first cry, she immediately reached for a mic and never let go.
The saying goes that you can’t choose your parents and Tyndall is a hybrid product of the music she was weaned on. She got her country bug from her father but as for her rock and roll heart, she got it from her mama.
“I love country but I sure do love rock and roll,” she confided of the yin yang that fueled her Washington, D.C. debut at Pearl Street Warehouse in the revamped music row in the city’s revamped wharf area. (https://www.pearlstreetwarehouse.com) For the native North Carolinian who once thought she’d be a nurse but was lured to Nashville, she seemed genetically predisposed to being an entertainer. Tyndall’s energy might make her a motivational speaker one day and her athleticism felt at times like she could have been leading a spin class.
Tyndall is among a new crop of writers that are reshaping the country music landscape through a will and talent. She co-wrote “Every Bar That’s Open” with Ashley McBryde and Lainey Wilson and shares some of the same fortitude with her fellow bad-ass sisters. By sheer force of nature, Tyndall barreled through her own hit songs “Everything Is Texas” and “Every Bar That’s Open” going back to her 2017 debut album Between Salvation and Survival along with a bevy of covers, anchored by anthemic nods to Gretchen Wilson, Reba McEntyre and Joan Jett.
After opening with “Boots Stompin’,” the opening track from her debut, she dove into Wilson’s raucous and edgy “Here For The Party” and later called on her “Redneck Woman” and Bobbie Gentry’s “Fancy.” Tyndall was just another member of the band setting up in the pre-show but had a theatrical star flair as the band played before she came onstage like she owned the room, commandeering the floor, mezzanine and patrons visible outside in the open air bar that extended into the alley.
There was something liberating about Tyndall’s carefree approach, weaving covers in and out like she was having a karaoke dream or fronting a guitar army during a battle of the bands. Tyndall, with the thick southern drawl, was the confident leader of an all-male band riffing alongside guitarist Shane Smith, bassist Tyler Ayers and drummer Kevin Connally. It was great to witness Tyndall turning the tables for her gender when she covered ZZ Top’s “Tush,” her muscular voice amplifying all the song’s geographic stops. Her new song “Don’t Need You To Be Me” was an affirmation about the virtues that post break-up singlehood can bring.
If you didn’t know Tyndall worshipped at the feet of Joan Jett, it became clear in a new song “Jesus and Joan Jett.” It was like Tyndall was quoting from a chapter in the New Testament in which God so declared his love for rock and roll and declared we should go forward and riff. Next to her was guitarist Smith who she declared bore a striking resemblance to Jesus himself. For his part, Smith wove in guitar parts for a medley of classic riffs and snippets from Jett (“I Hate Myself For Loving You”), Def Leppard (“Pour Some Sugar On Me”) and Aerosmith (“Sweet Emotion”) and satisfied Tyndall’s love of AC/DC.
Tyndall rattled off lines from Big & Rich’s “Save A Horse (Ride a Cowboy) for the set’s finale bookended by Metallica riffs. By show’s end everyone was on the dance floor for a celebratory singalong encore of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” with Tyndall getting help from the front table and three women who had driven nine hours from Michigan but did their part.
Among those dancing was Stella Schindler and Dave Ries of Kentucky Avenue. The duo, bearing the same name of a Tom Waits song, had opened the show, overcoming technical difficulties to play songs from their album “Nothing Here Is Mine” along with several they were trying out for the first time. The two hail from the greater DMV area and have been playing together for three years. With two acoustic guitars and tight knit harmonies they evoke the best of folk tradition.
Schindler admitted they hadn’t been to Nashville when they wrote the dreamy “Nightime In Nashville” but their words and voices transported you along with them. They used the geography of “Eugene” to evoke Western landscape and the canyons of Southern California as they alternated verses in the Seventies period piece “Rock Star Way.”
“Not bad for the first time,” Schindler said with a well deserved smile as they came out of it to loud applause.
The duo plays the Appaloosa festival Labor Day weekend and is readying to make their second album. Visit them at: kentuckyavenuemusic.com