Barge Brings the Beats: Musical Duo Performs Downtown


On Saturday, January 22, the Barge Canal Coffee Company host­ed a rather mysterious night of their Saturday Nite Music Series. They promised The Maroon-News “live music,” details to be determined. Before the show, an audience member asked the person in charge of sound who was performing, and this reporter is convinced he re­sponded with a band name ending in “Sisters.” After almost half an hour of awaiting the great reveal (is the guy sitting on the couch playing the bongos doing some kind of an introduction?), only one woman ap­proached the stage. Eventually, she was joined by a man, but the duo never introduced themselves (not a recommended marketing strategy).

But, to keep you in suspense for less time than Saturday’s audi­ence, the musical group of the night was Kim Monroe with Chris Eves (as discovered from a well-placed poster on the inside of the women’s bathroom). Monroe led vocals and played the tambourine, occasion­ally switching from tambourine to acoustic guitar. Eves covered back­up vocals and played the acoustic guitar, with a brief switch to the bass. The group’s genre of music is difficult to pin down. Their songs were almost entirely upbeat, and somehow combined acoustic rock with a country twang and a soulful twist.

Monroe and Eves started with some songs from older albums, including “Break Down” and “New Reality,” a title track. Though it was sometimes difficult to understand the words Monroe was singing, she had some very catchy lyrics. In “The Same Love,” she sang “It’s the same love that makes me laugh that makes me cry.” “Brand New Moves” had a great refrain of, “I’ve got a brand new set of moves and not a one has to do with you” and an awesome bass solo by Eves. Monroe also slipped in some self-deprecating humor before this song, explaining that the last time they per­formed “Brand New Moves” at the Barge it was in its infancy, and that this time they were “going to try to do a better job of it.”

Their next song was much slow­er and more bluesy than their pre­vious songs, but its quality wasn’t hurt by branching out into some­thing different. One of the group’s final songs was a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t That Peculiar.” The concert ended in a fashion almost as abrupt (and as uninformative) as it began, as the duo walked away with a quick “Thanks.”

Kim Monroe and Chris Eves clearly have talent. They write engaging songs and perform with skill. But Monroe spent more time belting her vocals than sing­ing them. It is difficult to listen to someone push her voice for such a long time, and so much belting made the performance too high energy for a laid back coffee shop venue. If Monroe and Eves can give a more relaxed vocal performance, they will make a great ad­dition to any future Barge concert – provided that they remember to tell anyone that they’re coming.