Unexpected things or, perhaps, overlooked things happen all of the time in this town. I think this is a wonderful thing, and I hope to run into these surprises everyday when I'm out and about Nashville. I ran into one of those surprises on Saturday.
I had entirely forgotten about the live music every Saturday at Ugly Mugs. Despite practically living there, I must not have been there on a late Saturday afternoon in some time. But come 6pm, the show began. Because of where I was sitting, I hadn't noticed the amps and whatnot or the shifting of the table arrangement. And then, suddenly, there was this voice. I could have sworn Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday had wandered in on accident. It wasn't one of those women, obviously; it was Rachel Pearl.
Three people played at Ugly Mugs last Saturday, but Pearl played first and completely lured everyone in. It was wonderful and understated and classic. A Nashville local, Pearl plays simple, vintage-style, sassy tunes that allow the attention to remain with her voice. It's almost haunting how familiar her voice seems. I spent the entire time trying to pin down exactly who she sounded like, but then gave up. It's a mix of something elegantly jazzy and the soothing comfort of the old crooners.
Pearl will be playing in Nashville on January 22nd and February 4th and also in Murfreesboro on January 27 (details on her website). Catch yourself a surprise - it's worth it.