It has been a hot summer in Seattle, record breaking temperatures and record breaking days without rain. As I was walking through the Capitol Hill neighborhood, I debated whether I should go sit under the lights at the soccer field at Cal Anderson Park or go down the stairs to Barboza where Stu Larsen would be performing. I chose the latter, and am I glad I did.

Larsen came onto the stage with just a guitar and harmonica. No back up band, or singers. Just a guy with a voice as smooth as silk and songs that make you yearn for happiness, love and peace. He played many songs off his new record, RESOLUTE and one that really stood out was “I Will Be Happy And Hopefully You Will Be Too”. The title of the song is long, but it makes so much sense and Larsen sings it well.

Among his songs, Larsen recanted stories of the road and stories of growing up on a farm in the middle of Australia (that story led to the song “Going Back to Bowenville”). I used to think that “between-song-banter” was only for the “seasoned pro”, meaning someone who has played stadiums, has classic hit songs, and a recognizable name. I do not think that anymore after going to a show last week and seeing a “seasoned pro” banter awkwardly and wishing he would just play music. Stu Larsen’s stories are part of his personality, nothing is forced, he is just easily able to share his thoughts on stage. Larsen’s stories and songs seem universal and cathartic. One story that really resonated with the crowd was about a homeless man that he had encountered on King Street in Sydney, this led into song “King Street” about excess off his VAGABOND album.

Stu Larsen’s songs make you think. You want to know the lyrics and you want to know what went into them. I do not know if his songs will change the world, and honestly what song really can do that, but Larsen’s songs and performance will make you think about change and will make you think about do you really need that big house and BMW to be happy?

Stu Larsen’s show was wonderful and if he’s playing near you, be sure to go to his show.

North American Tour Dates:

Sat., August 12 Denver, CO @ Lost Lake Lounge
Mon., August 14 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Tues., August 15 Chicago, IL @ Schubas Tavern
Wed., August 16 Columbus, OH @ Rumba Café
Thurs., August 17 Toronto, ON @ Rivoli
Fri., August 18 Montreal, QC @ L’Astral
Sat., August 19 Philadelphia, PA @ World Café Live
Mon., August 21 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
Tues., August 22 Allston, MA @ Great Scott
Wed., August 23 Vienna, VA @ Jammin’ Java
Fri., August 25 Charlotte, NC @ The Evening Muse
Sat., August 26 Decatur, GA @ Eddie’s Attic
Mon., August 28 Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
Tues., August 29 Austin, TX @ Stubbs Jr
Wed., August 30 Dallas, TX @ Three Links

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