The term singer/songwriter get thrown around a lot but when I heard Xenia Rubinos described as a “Music Maker” it perked my interested and led to a late Friday night trip to the Icehouse. If you have not seen a show at the Icehouse yet, take a look at their schedule. It’s a really cool unique venue and sitting at the bar, having one of their great burgers while listening to a band is one of my moments of Zen when covering bands.
First up was Ashley Groves, a Minneapolis singer and her band. From her opening notes it was clear that her voice is something powerful and special. A broken guitar string after the first song did not slow the band down. There is a jazzy/indie feel to their music but it has a luxe vibe, at time reminding me of Sade. I had a great time watching the performance, it was obvious that Groves was having a blast.
Xenia Rubinos just released “Black Terry Cat” and is transitioning her stage presence from mostly behind her keyboard to freestanding. And that transition is a great thing. Rubinos is a born stage performer pulling in her audience using hands, dance moves and of course her vocals. As one review put it: “Xenia Rubinos speaks with mesmeric confidence, dances like La Lupe, has the swagger of Erykah Badu, and sings like an indie Mariah Carey.” And that’s pretty much straight on.
Her music refuses to fit into a single genre, infusing jazz with modern influences, has latin and Carbbean influences, gets rock’n roll at times, and had fans dancing. Rubinos jumped off stage into the crowd. Overall, a mesmerizing artist with outstanding stage presence.