Saturday night, the Herb’n Homestead in Portland, ME was aglow with the guitar twang and serene singing of acoustic artists Fiona Robins, Sid and Sweatermouth. Rather than standing room only, the intimate setting gave way to friends and fans sitting tightly packed among one another. All in all, impressive music with many new friends made throughout the evening.
Fiona Robins took the seat first and proceeded to captivate the room with a sultry voice and skillful playing. My friends and I were excited to hear Robins play Salmon River, my favorite song of hers thus far. In my humble opinion, she sounded even better at the Homestead (which had surprisingly good acoustics) than she does recorded, which says a lot because her recordings sound pretty smooth to begin with. My attention to the artist was only momentarily broken after each song when the room erupted in applause. At the end of her performance, Fiona took her set in a completely different direction with HORSES, her first foray into punk. This time, instead of clapping alone, the packed room was in an uproar of laughter, applause and cheers of HORSES, HORSES!
Grace Glasson of South Carolina, aka Sweatermouth, eventually took center seat facing a hushed yet eager room. Her voice, while steady and tranquil, easily filled the room and melded well with ukulele interspersed with banjo strumming. Although Glasson’s bandcamp is currently exclusive to her unique take on 11 songs holding personal significance to her, Sweatermouth also graced (pun intended) the evening with a touching piece about her travels across the country with a loved one. Amid the bizarre times we live in, there’s much solace in a song about the road through the Southern US and all of the laughter that paves the way. I’m personally excited to hear more from Sweatermouth, both covers and originals. It’s a thrill to see such talent finding its way to Portland, ME, especially to a place with as much character as the Homestead.
Also, big shout out to Sid. The topics about which she sang varied greatly, from traveling through the desert, to a cryptic yet engaging tune which turned out to be about a simple air conditioner. The common denominator between each song? A charming singing voice and resonant acoustic playing to boot.