JD Eicher Jams Out with Brown Commons

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JD Eicher performs for the Browns Commons Coffeehouse Music Series in between plentiful amusing personal anecdotes.

Allegra Padula, Maroon-News Staff

If you are looking for a musical environment on campus to enjoy intimate concerts and discover new artists, the Brown Commons Coffeehouse Music Series is the place for you. On Thursday, September 6 from 8-10 p.m. in 110 Broad Street, the Coffeehouse presented JD Eicher for their first concert of the year. From Youngstown, Ohio, Eicher is a musician who has opened for the Dave Matthews Band, Matt Nathanson, Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson both as a solo artist and as part of his band.

A coffeehouse ambiance was created using string lights in the common area space in 110 Broad, as well as by having food for sale. For $1 each, FoJo Coffee Roasters provided coffee and tea, along with Flour and Salt baked goods which included chocolate chip cookies and babkas. There was also a free raffle for a newly designed Brown Commons Coffeehouse Mug. Prior to the concert starting, Brown Commons also invited representatives from the COVE and the Office of Sustainability to speak about ways to get involved around campus.

Throughout his set, Eicher alternated between acoustic and electric guitar. He opened the performance with “Wanderer,” followed by an atmospheric cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.” Other songs included “Lines in the Sky,” “The Little Bit,” “Ain’t My Scene,” a cover of “Let it Be” by The Beatles, “The Last Love Song,” “The Middle Distance” and “Love is Gonna Find You.” Humor and constant interaction with the audience were distinctive qualities of Eicher; he punctuated nearly every song with a personal story about his life, such as the trampoline he had as a child, his experiences performing at other colleges, how he met his wife many years ago in swimming practice and his love for his two-year-old daughter.

“JD Eicher combined head-bobbing songs with funny personal stories. I honestly do not know what I enjoyed more: the music or the stories he told between songs,” senior Marielle Scheffers said.

In 2016, New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks reached out to Eicher to write an original song for his new novel Two by Two. The novel was about a heartfelt relationship between a father and daughter, and Eicher provided an introduction to the song to share the backstory. Many of his lyrics focus on love, hopefulness, overcoming hardships and forging one’s own path.

“If I’m doing something musical and it brings me to a place and there’s not already a song for it, that’s my next job,” Eicher said.

Leaders of Brown Commons hope that the Coffeehouse can become the Commons’ unique tradition, as it brings live music to campus in an accessible and comfortable space. Each band usually sets up a merchandise table, and Eicher gave away free magnets, as well as sold copies of his CDs and “JeDi Eicher” t-shirts.

“It was such an awesome performance! JD Eicher was a very talented musician and songwriter. He also had a lot of charisma on the stage and was super nice to talk to. His Nicholas Sparks soundtrack vibe allowed for a perfect Thursday night study break!” junior Katie Robertson said.

Previous Coffeehouse performers include The Sea The Sea and Amythyst Kiah, and future acts include Ana Egge and Dori Freeman. Music genres at the Coffeehouse range from Americana to indie, proving to be an enjoyable experience for anyone looking for exposure to live music as a way to relax and take a break from academics.

“I had a great time at the Brown Commons Coffeehouse! JD Eicher was an amazing musician who delivered calming, soulful performances. I loved his style of music and the event was a perfect way to unwind at the end of a busy week,” senior Annie Robertson said.

The Brown Commons is named after Coleman Brown, a former Colgate professor. The Commons aims to promote the arts, inclusivity and creative expression. The Coffeehouse concerts are the perfect way to do that.

Contact Allegra Padula at [email protected]