by Dan Harr
I photograph concerts. Big names, national touring acts. I live a blessed life having had the opportunity to meet some of my favorite bands, take their photos, hear their music. And yet, it’s when I get to take in a night of music from singer/songwriter friends like Cheley Tackett and Steff Mahan that I realize being blessed comes in all aspects of the music world.
Cheley and Steff aren’t the biggest hit writers out there. They’re not “gene pool” clones that the major labels these days pump out in assembly line fashion. And, they’re definitely not “mainstream,” whatever that term really means. But, along with being my friends, they are exceptional live performers, outstanding lyricists and melody writers, and phenomenal singers with strong, vibrant voices.
Taking the stage at Atlanta’s premiere songwriter venue, Eddie’s Attic, Cheley and Steff performed their unique and well-crafted songs for a room full of local fans who came out to hear the duo. Tackett started the evening off with an upbeat song, belting out the lyrics in a powerful voice redolent with shades of Wynonna Judd. Mahan’s voice could be called a mix of Janis Joplin and Grace Slick at times, and yet transitions to a Sarah McLachlan tone when singing soft ballads.
Together, these two women could give alternative duos like Indigo Girls a run for their money on the national touring stage IF ONLY… I say “if only” because the one thing lacking in their performance is the two of them singing as a duo rather than two individual singer/songwriters on stage. If they took that next step and included a backup band to support them, Steff and Cheley would find themselves in an entirely new stratosphere of live performances because their voices work well together and compliment each other.
Writing from the heart, both performers draw on their personal experiences with relationships, family and the social environment to write songs that have messages which resonate with the audience. From breakups to bullying, the two talk about things that have affected them and which affect us all, making it easy to connect and relate to their music.
Cheley Tackett and Steff Mahan are touring together as well as performing separately in house concerts and venues around the country. For a full list of upcoming tour dates, see below. To view videos from the Eddie’s Attic performance, scroll down and click on the videos.
For more about Cheley Tackett, visit her website at http://www.cheleytackett.com
For more about Steff Mahan, visit her website at www.steffmahan.com
STEFF MAHAN TOUR DATES:
6/23/12 Birmingham, AL Moonlight on the Mountain Time: 7:30 pm/ Tix: $12 @ door – Cheley Tackett & I are coming to Alabama (Roll Tide or War Eagle?) More details about Moonlight and the show HERE!
6/29/12 Dallas, Texas Sue Ellen’s Time: 10:00 pm/ Tix: $6 – Alright Texas, watch out. Cheley Tackett and I are coming for ya…spurs and all!
6/30/12 Canton, TX Private House Concert
7/13/12 Cambridge, OH Private House Concert
7/27/12 Indianapolis, IN The Irving Time: 7:00 pm/ Tix: $5-$10 – Writer’s round style with Cheley Tackett & Indy local Carrie Pietz
7/28/12 Jeffersonville, IN 300 Spring Time: 8:00 pm/ Tix: $15 – Had so much fun in March that I am coming back and bringing my pal Cheley Tackett with me!
8/25/12 Denver, CO Private House Concert
9/19/12 Kingston Springs, TN The Fillin’ Station Time: 7:00 pm/ No Cover – Performing Writer Songwriter’s Showcase
10/28/12 Savannah, GA Savannah Songwriter’s Series Time: 6:00 pm/ Location: TBA/ Tix: FREE – Looking forward to playing this great series. Stay tuned for more details.
11/10/12 Alexandria, VA Private House Concert
CHELEY TACKETT TOUR DATES:
Saturday, June 23rd, 2012 – Moonlight on the Mountain – Cheley Tackett & Steff Mahan – 7pm – 585 Shades Crest Rd Birmingham AL 35226 US – Price: $12 – Advance tickets are not available for this show. For more information regarding Moonlight on the Mountain, please visit: http://www.moonlightonthemtn.com/MOTM/Protocol.html.
Friday, June 29th, 2012 – Sue Ellen’s – Cheley Tackett & Steff Mahan – 10pm – 3903 Cedar Springs Dallas TX 75219 US 214.559.0650 – Price: $6
Saturday, July 21st, 2012 – Betty’s Battle for Alzheimers – tba – Champaign IL US – Price: tba – w/Lisa Carver
Friday, July 27th, 2012 – The Irving – Cheley Tackett, Steff Mahan, & Carrie Pietz – tba – 5505 E. Washington St. Indianapolis IN 46219 US 317-356-3355 – Price: tba
Saturday, July 28th, 2012 – 300 Spring – Cheley Tackett & Steff Mahan – tba – 300 Spring Street Jeffersonville IN 47130 US 812-280-0300 – Price: tba
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