Thursday, January 28, 2010

"We could all use some magic..."Rebekah Pulley in Sem Heights Last Night

Photo courtesy of our awesome Sem Heights Photographer Nicole "Elawgrrl" Kibert

Last night I cut through the alley behind our house and headed over to the Front Porch to listen to one of Tampa's best local singer/songwriters Rebekah Pulley. When I saw the sign on the Front Porch announcing she would be there a few days before, I couldn't believe it at first. I've seen her a few times, and Amy knows I have a bit of a celebrity crush on her, but I never expected her to play within view of my house. I won't talk about those daydreams of her playing the guitar at one of our cookouts on our porch, but for now this was close enough.

When I got to the Front Porch, she was tucked into the bar area against a far wall. She was strumming away on John Prine's "Angel From Montgomery" apparently via request although she did a great job of it. She followed that with an original and one of her best "I Should Have Left You A Long Time Ago." I settled in and decided on a Guinness - the only beer that's never let me down - and marvelled at the number of open seats in the place. It was actually pretty darn empty although I don't think it was advertised more than the sign out front. As she moved through some of her new material which she would perform unapologetically with a cheat sheet on her knee, she definitely made fans of the dozen or so of us there.

During one of her breaks, I didn't have to work hard to get a chance to talk with her. She was chatting with one of the regulars and joking about the pitiful condition of her performance costume which consisted of a well worn plaid skirt, a black tee, and some brown converse that had seen a lot miles. We started talking about the little known fact that she is originally from Alaska and how she even lived in my old stomping ground of East Texas. I was trying to remember that song about Anchorage when she chimed in that it was one of her favorites (Anchored in Anchorage - Michelle Shocked) and she started off the next set with it.

I felt really lucky to get a chance to see her in such close quarters. As the the dozen or so in the bar became four lucky holdouts, the show became much more like a group of friends talking back and forth and requesting cover songs she knew such as"I Shall Be Released" and favorites of hers that I wanted to hear like "New Mexico". She even gave her best effort at Joni Mitchell's "River" which the guy next to me, Don offered up. I felt a little disappointed in our neighborhood for the small turnout, but selfishly, it couldn't have been a better evening for a reformed concert junkie like me. Seeing a band or singer that you love in an intimate venue can spoil you from ever paying $75 to crowd into an arena. If you haven't seen her or heard Rebekah play, what are you waiting for? She might even be playing in your neighborhood this week. With all of the fluff and inflated pop stars taking the spotlight these days, it is encouraging to meet a singer who is as real and genuine in person as she sounds behind the microphone.

-Charles H
Here's a video of her and links to her website and a spot to listen to more of her music...


  1. Great review Charles! Come see Have Gun, Will Travel on Thursday:)

  2. Great story! You're right, small turnouts are a mixed blessing. But large crowd or small, you'll never regret seeing Rebekah perform.