Local Current Blog

Photos: Tabah, J.E. Sunde, and Ayvah at the Turf Club

Cecelia Erholtz of Tabah at the Turf Club on March 4, 2017. All photos by Emmet Kowler for MPR.

Friends and family packed the Turf Club on Saturday night, eager to see an all-local bill comprising jazz/neo-soul band Ayvah, singer/songwriter J.E. Sunde, and rock group Tabah.

Tabah, who performed at the Local Show’s Artists to Watch showcase last August, played their new album Symmetry Somewhere in full. The new music sounded best when it let Cecelia Erholtz’s vocals take the lead; her rasp on “Lucid State” reminded me of “Edge of Seventeen,” and when she screamed, my heart leapt. They also sprinkled in other music, like Erholtz’s solo performance of “Wargasm” (from Tabah’s EP Time Will Come) and a full-band cover of James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” Vocalist/guitarist Erholtz, bassist Charlie Bruber, drummer Murphy Janssen, guitarist Jeff Ley, and keyboardist Andrew Seitz release Symmetry Somewhere on March 17.

Minneapolitan J.E. Sunde also played music from a new album, Now I Feel Adored, which he put out on March 3. Singing like Robin Gibb or Conor Oberst at their most confessional, he struck a chord with me during “Jacket.” After playing “I Will Disappoint You” from his album Shapes That Kiss the Lips of God, he asked crowd members to turn to each other and repeat the title. “It’s important,” he said, citing a need for “healthy expectations.”

Ayvah — vocalist Ava McFarlane, pianist Sam Rosenstone, bassist Ethan Yeshaya, drummer Joey C. Hays, and guitarist Andy Schupp — have gotten tighter playing in and around the Twin Cities these last several months. McFarlane’s voice sounded like sunlight starting to peek into a window, and although the band might have overdone it on the time changes, their neo-soul set went down easy.

The Turf stage suited each of the bands, who made the most of their recent work in front of a hearty crowd.


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J.E. Sunde

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Cecilia Johnson is a staff writer for the Local Current blog. Emmet Kowler works with lights all day and takes photos after dark.