Danny Michel / Carolyn Mark The Railway Club, Vancouver BC May 10

For the second night in a row, Danny Michel took up residence at the intimate Railway Club, this time with the always-delightful Carolyn Mark. Mark’s witty on-stage banter carries over into her cleverly poetic songs, mixing tinges of real emotion and heartbreak with biting sarcasm and a love of good drink. Performing with both an additional guitar player and a violinist, Mark’s songs were perfectly suited to the atmosphere provided by the eager bar patrons, as fiddle-filled songs about boozy days off on tour tend to be. Performing a set mostly composed of brand-new material from her forthcoming full-length, Nothing is Free, these songs tended to showcase Mark’s less-funny musical tendencies, highlighting her more subtle abilities as a powerful emotional songwriter. Danny Michel possesses the same natural charm as Mark, drawing in the audience with his ridiculous charisma. That he has the guitar chops and songwriting ability to keep the intensity of attention that he commands without even playing a note speaks to his musical accomplishments; while it may seem strange that he has yet to crossover to a more mainstream audience, his songs remain relevant, catchy, and entirely unique. Utilising a loop pedal without being an asshole about it, Michel’s music sounded full and powerful without being overwrought; "Perfect,” in particular, managed to shut up even those at the very back of the bar. His spirited and interesting interpretation of "I Hung My Head” seemed to encapsulate all that was great about the evening; solo performers with a distinct voice, both in song and in speech.