As a talent buyer, I yearn for a solid live representation of an artist or band. As a record “collector” and radio show producer, I LOVE and typically much prefer studio albums.
NOTE to musicians: Most people I chat with also prefer a solid live representation before deciding whether to spend money to see an unknown artist or band live.
Studio albums have detail and nuances not ordinarily evident in live records. Live albums are hard to produce, and often disastrous; without studio overdubs they often show every minute flaw in individual performances. Most live music video performances are often worse, for lack of proper professional video production among other things.
Kaitlyn Williams showed up on Denver’s open mic circuit about 2016. It wasn’t long before Denver’s Wes Watkins “discovered” her and invited her to be a part of his band, The Other Black. Seemingly, that’s all it took for the burgeoning pop/neo-soul songstress to gain the confidence she needed to go it alone with her own band.
Kaitlyn released her debut, Sunset, not long after in 2019. Songs like Rain and the title track Sunset revealed a songwriter and singer many years more polished and mature than the mediocrity that too often flows through my studio monitors.
Enter “Under These Lights,” the new LIVE album from Kaitlyn.
Kaitlyn walks a fine line between youthful pop and more sophisticated adult oriented neo-soul. She scores on both counts. Recorded live at the Lodge at Woods Boss Brewing in Denver, the intimate small room was the perfect space for the enthusiastic Kaitlyn and her fans (evidence fully displayed in the title track, the first full song in the show).
It takes some pretty major emotional fortitude to release a live album, especially one with music and performances as sophisticated and intimate as displayed Under These Lights. It may have felt great on stage, but what would the recording sound like? After all it was a live recording, which are often known for glaring deficiencies.
In this case Kaitlyn must have felt exuberant upon hearing it, because Under These Lights is a major league homerun among Colorado releases in 2022.
In a market crowed with potential pop/R&B/soul star power, Kaitlyn has more than earned her place with easily the best live album to come out of Denver in the past sixteen years of the Colorado Playlist.
NOTABLE TRACKS: #6 The Truth, #8 Don’t Blink