Crystal Bowersox Makes An Impression at City Winery

Crystal Bowersox

Northwest Ohio native, Crystal Bowersox, performed at the City Winery on March 10 as she toured through Washington DC. With an open bottle of pinot and a great view of the stage, we settled in for an evening of fantastic music. Bowersox made a classy move by personally introducing her opener David Luning, who she originally met over Instagram.

David Luning, of Northern California, kicked off the night with his thumping duo, complete with an upright bass. Luning oscillated between keys, acoustic guitar, and harmonica. Luning closed his set with a dynamic conversation between dueling harmonicas as he engaged the whole room in harmonies of "Ain't Life A Beautiful Thing."

After a short break Bowersox walked back on stage and sat behind the keyboard and opened with a cover of the classic "People Get Ready" by The Impressions. Her version was quite reminiscent of DC Native Eva Cassidy's live album performance at Blues Alley. The concert was vulnerable with Bowersox as she graced over the keys.

Crystal Bowersox
 
 

It was awesome singing in DC tonight. Especially performing a song of mine called 'Courage To Be Kind'. That felt really good to sing here. It's about sending love across party lines and realizing that we are all in this together, so let's get along and be nice to each other!

Crystal Bowersox   //  On her performance at City Winery DC

Bowersox has a sultry style that sits somewhere between folk and soul. She wears her acoustic as if it were her third arm. Accompanied by killer vocal harmonies and electric guitar, Bowersox put on a heck of a show with powerful rawness and authenticity. Bowersox laughs that you always get 100% out of her and adds, "Even if I am at 80%, you're going to get 100% out of 80%."

The set included favorites such as "Love Who You Love", "Stay Calm", "Dead People's Things", "Loneliness", "Hitch Hiker", "Sound the Alarm" and "Better Off". Bowersox created an element of conversation between the audience and the stage. She broke down any barriers in the room by asking everyone to turn to a stranger and look into their eyes and tell them that they love them. The antic got a few chuckles.

Bowersox, a bit of a morbid optimist, told story after story as she explained how she always finds the silver lining in even the most tragic situations. She continues to  deliver surprisingly uplifting songs about how she furnished her whole apartment from the contents of an abandoned storage unit of a deceased person, to a hitchhiker she met in Utah. She recounted how one day this stranger was a preacher, and the next, he was burning the pages of the Bible to keep warm. Bowersox also shared stories of her divorce and how her mother lost her hoarded home to fire. All of these stories were told with a dryness that only Bowersox could deliver.

Towards the end of her performance she invited David Luning back onstage for the last few songs of the evening including  including a few priceless collaborations and interactions by the two artists.

Bowersox leverages her shows as an opportunity to give back. She has a long history as an advocate for Type 1 Diabetes, a disease that she herself has. Bowersox brings her "You Should Have Won Box" to every gig, where she collects donations for various causes, which she matches dollar for dollar. The March 10 "Box" proceeds will go to the city of Nashville to support rebuilding after the recent tornado that hit the community hard.

As the show came to an end, Bowersox asked the crowd to guess what song she is most requested to perform. Before she could even finish her sentence, streams of "Bobby McGees" shouted back at her.  She immediately launched into a cover of the Rolling Stones, "You Can't Always Get What You Want." The move was bold, but she pulled it off and got a standing ovation.

Bowersox has released 3 LPs, two EPs, several singles. Bowersox plans to release an autobiographical, theatrical rock concert titled Trauma Queen during the coming year.

Bowersox told DC Music Review, "It was awesome singing in DC tonight. Especially performing a song of mine called 'Courage To Be Kind'. That felt really good to sing here. It's about sending love across party lines and realizing that we are all in this together, so let's get along and be nice to each other!" She added with a cheeky smile, "Dammit!"

​DC Music Review truly loved this deeply personal performance by Bowersox and look forward to her return to the DMV in the near future.

Videos

Videos

Videos



Listen

Listen

Listen


Additional Resources

Additional Resources

Additional

Resources


To learn more about Crystal Bowersox, please see the following web resources:

To learn more about Type 1 Diabetes and Crystal's work within the community, please see the following web resources:

About the author
Kimberly Shires

Kimberly Shires

Kimberly Shires is a native of the DC Metropolitan area. Kimberly is a freelance writer, music degree holder, road bike warrior, songwriter, corporate ladder climber, and a Subaru driving nature enthusiast.