Julia Weldon at Capital Pride

Singer/songwriter Julia Weldon performs at Capital Pride in Washington DC. Photo: Julia Weldon

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2013 —Singer-songwriter Julia Weldon doesn’t normally play with a band. But during the recent weekend festival for Capital Pride – along with several other pride festivals across the East Coast – she brought along the guys to back up her set.

For an artist like Weldon, it seems a bit odd to have a full band backing songs that were created primarily for a solo performer. Such songs can feel a bit cumbersome in a larger format when their original intention is have a spare and more personal appeal. But this is never the case with Weldon, as she leaves a lot of hooks in the framework of her songs that can be filled out if necessary.

Over the last several weeks, Gay Pride festivals have been occurring all over the country. With the Supreme Court seemingly coming down on the side of the gay community on this issue, each of these festivals has taken on an even more significance, bringing out supporters of all persuasions.

The Pride festivals aren’t just about a person’s sexuality. They’re more about the right to be open and honest about who an individual is, which includes one’s own sexuality.

That’s what made Julia Weldon the perfect artist to be performing at Capital Pride. One of the primary keys to being a good and successful singer/songwriter is the ability to be honest.  Stories, emotional arcs, none of this means a thing if it’s clear the artist is just putting on airs for a given occasion, playing something because it might create an cynically predetermined effect on the audience.

None of this ever feels like a problem for Julia Weldon. Her songs have a natural authenticity as she weaves simple, emotional, but universally accessible stories. It’s easy to get caught up in the set due to the way Weldon throws herself into each individual performance. Her personal, heartfelt emotional touch—never forced—is what makes her set engrossing.

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It’s not just her strong content that accomplishes this aim. Her vocals have overtly soft appeal that seduces the audience as well. While she has no problem pushing her voice out, the cracks, the wavers, all the associated irregularities in her delivery give a genuine depth to her music and lyrics alike.

It was a bonus for the area audience that Weldon was convinced to put together a backing band for these sets at Capital Pride and the shows surrounding the festival, since they added significant punch to her set. They filled out the musical nooks and crannies in each of her songs, helping to make their expanded versions of her older songs as well as her quasi-pop new material form a new, cohesive whole during the performance. 

This extra musical heft helped make Julia Weldon’s performance one of the more notable events at Capital Pride which, in turn, benefited from her presence.

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Stephen Bradley

Stephen Bradley is an avid music listener and an occasional writer.  He grew up in the Washington DC area and has been embedded in the local music scene for years.  Currently he lives in Vienna, VA.   He enjoys bands that have been broken up for at least a decade.

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