CONCERT REVIEW – Julie Dexter at Blues Alley

What better way to bring in the year 2011 than with an intimate concert with British soul sensation Julie Dexter at D.C.’s famed Blues Alley

She opened her set with a scat-laden rendition of Beyonce’s “Déjà Vu,” with hints of Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall” thrown in for good measure.  I was totally thrown off guard, but in a good way.  From then on, I knew that it was going to be a night full of surprises, and she did not disappoint.

She continued to hypnotize the sold-out crowd with her honey-drenched brand of jazzy soul singing songs like “Afro Blue” (one of her favorite jazz standards), “Like Ours,” and “What Do I Do.” She also performed two new songs, “Broke Up About You” and “Transitions” (produced by multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Zo!) from her upcoming album, New Again, which is a fitting theme considering she has a new hairdo (she’s now sporting a beautiful afro instead of locs), and a new baby on the way.

As if Julie’s crazy vocals weren’t enough, she took a seat at the piano and showed us just how talented she really was.  My jaw dropped yet again when I realized that she was doing a stunningly beautiful interpretation of  “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” by The Beatles.  The set was brought to a close with “Ketch a Vibe,” which reminded me of why I fell in love with Julie in the first place.

With revitalized covers, new music, a new look, and new life coming into the world, I couldn’t think of a better way to bring in the New Year than with Julie Dexter.  She has captivated audiences the world over, time and time again, but there was an undeniable magic that can only be experienced at Blues Alley.   Julie was truly in her element, and I can’t wait until she blesses D.C. with her presence again.

Broke Up About You” and “Transitions” are available on iTunes.