Photos and Review by HARRIET KAPLAN
Ava Maybee has the “It Factor” based on the strong and captivating set she delivered like a seasoned veteran at the Hotel Cafe.
The 20-year-old singer/songwriter has powerful original material that combines various musical styles together with a retro R and B, rock and indie genres while making a unique sound all her own. Her fearless vocals possess a maturity, inner strength and resolve and bit of world weariness beyond her young age. Those characteristics are the necessary ingredients and hallmarks that give her songs authenticity and believability.
When Ava Maybee sings, she taps into listener’s emotions on a soul level balancing that seriousness with a wry sense of humor. The pretty and edgy singer wearing offbeat vintage clothing already has a following. Maybee has performed at The Whisky, Staple Center, and Dodger Stadium, where she sang the National Anthem for a Lakers game and a Dodger game. The enthusiastic crowd sang along to the numbers which she has released as singles.
The eight-song set list included “Lay Low,” “The Less I Know, The Better,” “Bite Me,” “Lately,” “Red Light” and outstanding and moving cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Love Is Blind.”
“Colors” is about Maybee’s cheating ex-boyfriend and the personal odyssey of that experience and how she dealt with it to reveal her perspective. It was done in ironic and clever way with an eclectic arrangement that is catchy as hell with a lots hooks and a melody that doesn’t quit and “See Me Now.”
To match her compelling onstage persona, Maybee had a equally robust band to provide the right backing and spark to the memorable set. The musicians also have a hip image to match and to compliment Maybee. Dario Comuzzi played lead guitar and provided backing vocals; Jack Severino was on bass, Liza Kaye played keyboards and Grayson Ellis was on drums.
The fun and energetic show also was a platform to raise awareness for the Childrens Hospital of LA of which Maybee is their junior ambassador. She spoke appreciatively about the staff at the hospital and her gratitude for the doctors who performed scoliosis surgery on her at 14. She also added that every one is a human being and deserves the proper care.
The engaging and likable artist translated that creatively into developing a special and impactful common touch/connection between her fans with her music at a Hotel Cafe.