Will Varley kicked off his first headlining tour in the US at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. To be a part of such a momentous occasion in his career was a special feeling, one that he was so grateful for as he paused to reflect on how far his career has come since he started out so many years ago.
A folk singer from England, he couldn't believe that he'd be able to find enough people overseas to warrant taking the main slot on stage - but his fans could.
Varley's wit and humor, mixed with his introspection and wonderment, led to insightful songs about life, purpose, and what it means to be human. He sent the audience on an emotional journey, singing about struggle and trying to make the best life possible but ultimately failing in "The Man Who Fell to Earth", as well as a talking cat who stirred up a lot of drama in "Talking Cat Blues".
Despite the heavy nature of some of Varley's work, the night was full of smiles and cheer as jokes poured out about the name of a certain wholesale club, and how drinking American-sized shots of whiskey too closely together is a terrible idea. He also excitedly talked about PBR, having brought his own six-pack out to the stage because it's something he can't get back at home, and is a highlight of touring in the States.
Will Varley is an impassioned story teller, and he's got a lot of stories in his pocket to be shared if you'll give him a moment of your time.
Opening the night was local New York rocker Anna Rose, who shared Varley's wit and humor while pouring her own emotion and raw energy into her songs.
Rose had a very charismatic demeanor and a bright smile, quickly warming the hearts of those who came in early to see her. Rose even slipped out her first "y'all" that night - a (jokingly) embarrassing moment for a native New Yorker to experience. She is currently working on a new album which is slated to be released later this year, but you can hear her singles "The Chariot" and "Nobody Knows I'm Here" on all streaming platforms - if the second title sounds familiar, you may have heard it featured on NBC's This Is Us!
Keep an eye on these two wonderful musicians - they're going to go far.