LIVE: Girl Blue Heats Up The Hollow 12/5/2019

Capital region favorite Girl Blue filled The Hollow Bar + Kitchen on December 5th. Taking the stage with a full band, Arielle O’Keefe brought a hush over the packed room when she graced the space with her sensual vocals.

Known as Girl Blue, O’Keefe has collected a well earned following of fans throughout the area, many of whom are notable musicians themselves. One look around The Hollow found more than a handful of the capital region’s most talented there to support and enjoy her show.

She was joined on stage by other local talent, too. She was backed by the full band Dark Honey whose skill to move the room on its own was powerful. The combination of musicians was mind boggling – as was the sound. Better than your anticipated pub band, the pairing created a sound that reverberated soul. The crowd, feeling the intensity, moved closer to the stage with Girl Blue’s encouragement, many of whom she identified as “people we love so much – this is the best night of the year!”

She didn’t disappoint. Right from the start, Girl Blue’s performance was remarkable in her ability to sing old and new songs that captured the crowd’s full attention. Whether sounding upbeat like Sheryl Crow in her songs promising enlightenment or a bit discouraged and yet brutally honest in her more Alanis Morissette tone, Girl Blue’s passion for her music shone through and moved the crowd to dance with her.

But even comparing Girl Blue to other musicians limits the imagination of what she can do with her sound. Because in the song “Drunk,” she completely departed both styles. Embracing a grittier sound, and clearly immersing herself completely in the darker overtone of the lyrics, Girl Blue demonstrated a sound completely unique to her. It was a vibe only she could command, and she balances it between sweet and sensual with the appearance of casual ease.

Sweet, sexy, but also gritty, honest and raw, Girl Blue demonstrated a command of various music genres and sounds that is rare in a young local musician. Heck, it’s rare even with more mature, seasoned musicians.

Defying categorization, Girl Blue is simply talented. And incredibly entertaining in her willingness to speak her raw truth.

During a very sweet moment early in, she joined her opener Will Dailey, a Boston musician, for a cute duet about being an “Ultimate Companion.” Dailey shared Girl Blue had met him years ago in a burger joint in Wisconsin, and she inspired him to maintain hope in his dreams of pursuing music.

Dailey, also a tremendously enjoyable musician in his own right, disclosed disillusionment in a folksy, early Dylan sounding manner. Dailey’s angst was particularly poignant as he sang about the loneliness of consumerism, and his desire to turn off the light, turning inward.

Dailey was both likable and challenging, questioning modern life with a frankness often reserved for intellectuals. The crowd chatted quietly as he warmed up the room for Girl Blue, and while he was undeterred by the lack of attention in the back of the venue, he offered some soul crushing thoughts accompanied by a full, pleasing sound.

These two are both artists to watch. With compelling lyrics, musical talent, and jaw dropping stage presence, both Dailey and Girl Blue made The Hollow the hottest spot in Albany on a cold December night.

Photo Gallery by Jim Gilbert

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