As the sun rises on Reno singer-songwriter Spencer Kilpatrick’s “mini-tour,” it’s setting for a Reno landmark, the Lincoln Lounge.
Kilpatrick and opener Keith Damron from the band El Camino Sutra from Monterey, California, played out back on the patio where so many fabulous shows have taken place. Wind rustled the trees hanging over lattice. It also gently breezed through Kilpatrick’s dark locks as he hugged his friends and fans who showed up in support.
Damron sang endearingly poppy songs over power ballad guitar. He played rhythm and embellished his voice with lead licks at the same time. His relatable voice cracked and showed signs of vulnerability. A touch melancholy. A touch uplifting.
I already dig the guy’s stuff, then he played a cover of The Bee Gees’ “More Than a Woman.” I’m smitten.
Kilpatrick took over the microphone and immediately called Damron one of his favorite singer-songwriters in the world.
Kilpatrick is a pro. The first thing I heard him say was, “You don’t have a pick on ya do you?”
Followed by, “Check, check. Oooh, that’s brutal.”
My favorite part about Kilpatrick’s music is when he rips a guitar apart, but when he’s playing simple chords … good god, his voice shines. He has tremendous control of his dazzling voice. He writes love songs and plays 1960s and 70’s jams.
Even when he’s playing alone, his music ebbs and flows like there’s a band. He snarls his lip through the parts he feels the most.
“When I put this show and tour together, I had every intention of having an EP to release,” Kilpatrick said. “But you wouldn’t believe what happened.”
The crowd said, “What happened, Spencer?”
“I didn’t do it,” Kilpatrick said. “I didn’t write any songs, didn’t record any and didn’t mix any. But there are some songs on the Internet. And someone in the U.K. said they’re fine. My dad said, ‘Oh, no drums huh?'”
His song “Dear Carolyn” shifted into a soulful cover of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends.” His passionate love song “Lungs” ended with his classic rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”
Through the performance, he pushes the limits of his voice and attains a gravelly howl.
Kilpatrick and Damron head to Davis and beyond on their tour. Thanks for one last lovely memory of a great bar. Don’t forget to pick up your mug if you’re an alcoholic.
– Tony Contini