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Julie Loyd - All That You Ask For (live) Review

by Ashleigh Hill

Folk at it's Very Best

The art of the live acoustic show is well practiced, but with just a guitar and a voice, some musicians fall short. Julie Loyd reaches far and beyond the standardization of live music on All That You Ask For. Enticing the crowd with "Insomnia Song", a sweet, witty and sad 3 minutes and 43 seconds, Loyd tells a story, draws it even, and finishes it with responsive dialogue. Actually, her stage present is an exchange and the audience listens the whole time. Julie Loyd is not background coffee shop music. The scratched bell of a voice travels through the rest of All That You Ask For stopping only for rough jokes and a few comments. In the thick line of Ani diFranco, Loyd seems to have perfected the contrast between herself and her songs; she takes the audience from poignant thoughts ("Birthday Song", "A Secret of Your Own") to sad, telling stories ("Jefferson High") to admitting she's really just playing music "for the chicks". And she pulls it off, but not before playfully accusing a friend in the audience of "blowing his wad", for good measure.

As painful as it is to admit, the girl-with-guitar genre is painfully hit-or-miss. Thankfully, Loyd hits again and again, lyrically offering, "we can take a break together" and meaning it.

To put it in Loyd's own words, "She tried to define emotions / she'd heard of / that applied to her life". Loyd's diverse vocals and lyrics resonate with the stamina of everyone who can't seem to grasp what's worth holding onto. I've never seen her play live, but I think it's safe to say that Julie Loyd and her power-folk fill every room they perform in down to the corners. Ani diFranco, Erin Mckeown, and Glen Phillips fans will consume All That You Ask For and immediately ask for more. Julie Loyd is a conversation worth having.

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