Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rachael Yamagata will be playing at Cleveland’s Music Box Supper Club Friday, Feb. 9, and she is bringing minimal accompaniment to the stage with her. Titled “Songs. Stories. Solo.,” Yamagata’s tour will involve her sitting down for a performance with an audience cast in the role of confidantes.
“I have a lot of fans that have always wanted to see something more broken down without all the bells and whistles of, ya know, a huge production,” Yamagata said in a phone interview.
She noted that shows stripped down to the bare minimum like those of this tour “cut out the fourth wall” between the artist and the audience. She will be backed by a running movie that complements each song. Yamagata picked from a different selection of songs, pulling from all previous works and then some, to convey the intimacy of this tour.
“Being true to yourself and doing the songs to full authenticity will inevitably connect with someone in the room. So that’s what I go for,” Yamagata said on delivering a show that will resonate with the audience. The art of storytelling is key to the naked honesty Yamagata portrays, but from there, she leaves it to the listener to figure out where she fits into the mold.
“There’s an honesty that Stevie Nicks has, a sadness that Roberta Flack has and a grit, maybe a free-for-all, who gives a crap attitude of Tom Waits,” Yamagata said on her sound, uniting generations and genres to create a down-to-Earth experience for both her and the audience.
With 26 shows spanning eight weeks, this tour is only one chapter in a long string of tours or, as Yamagata called it, “a road trip meeting people along the way.” Her last full-length album, “Tightrope Walker,” was released Sept. 23, 2016, so she may well be due for some new material. She does have some new songs up her sleeve that might warrant taking a break from life on the road to hit the studioーor, in her case, home.
“I think the traveling and meeting new people definitely keeps everything interesting. I’m fascinated by the sociology of people and why we do what we do,” Yamagata said. “And, of course, world affairs are incredibly tumultuous and complex right now. That’s a source of inspiration. Connecting with nature, connecting with people. And just our life’s journey. […] Life is inherently inspiring. I don’t get bored.”
She has a home studio that provides for flexibility and an inspiring work environment.
“I would just say Sandy Bell is an incredible artist, so come early to the show,” Yamagata said as a final note. “She’s really, really unique. She now lives up in my neck of the woods, and it’s a homecoming show for her. So it should be a really exciting night,”
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of the show.