Jarrod Dickenson review: He has a knack of writing songs that capture emotions and an ability to deliver them with absolute sophistication

Jarrod Dickenson. Photo: Josh Wool

Jarrod Dickenson. Photo: Josh Wool - Credit: Josh Wool

Jarrod Dickenson, with support from JP Ruggieri, brought a delightful evening of relaxing music to the sizeable crowd that attended last night's Norwich Arts Centre show.

Jarrod Dickenson. Photo: Tatsuro Nishimura

Jarrod Dickenson. Photo: Tatsuro Nishimura - Credit: Tatsuro Nishimura

After being introduced by Jarrod Dickenson himself as a fellow musician and friend, JP Ruggieri stepped up to the microphone for his supporting set.

The handful of people who'd had the pleasure of catching Dickenson on his last stop in Norwich would have already been well acquainted with the support act who played with him on his last tour.

A simple red spotlight shone down as he began playing the most beautifully melodic guitar riffs, visibly absorbed in the music himself.

His endearing charm, honey-like voice and clean guitar riffs had a way of absorbing you into this perfect bubble of relaxation and contentment - which made for one of the most stunning opening sets I've witnessed in a long time.

Backed on a number of songs by Dickenson and his wife Claire, the harmonies were quite simply exquisite making each song that much more enjoyable.

With music that you could quite easily drift off to, which is by no means a negative thing, it's surprising that JP Ruggieri isn't known by more people - which in a selfish way is great as we all got to enjoy the music in a very intimate space.

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Towards the end we learned that he has a stutter which when he sings completely disappears. It's incredible to see how powerful music can be in overcoming such things - something that he is also able to make light of during his performance.

Ruggieri is a hugely talented guitarist, performer, singer and songwriter and was an absolute treat to see perform again in such a perfectly fitting venue.

After a short break Jarrod Dickenson returned, this time to centre stage. Ruggieri returned to play guitar and pedal steel with Claire Dickenson providing backing vocals and a variety of percussion.

He started the set with The Northern Sea, a great song telling the tale of a deep sea fisherman fighting for life and livelihood.

This led into Take It From Me, along with a variety of other tracks from one of his most recent releases - Ready The Horses.

These more familiar tracks were interspersed with a few covers from Dickenson's latest project, his new EP Under A Texas Sky.

It will be hitting the shelves on March 8 and is an EP that will feature re-workings of some of the greatest musicians to have come out of his home state of Texas.

We were treated to two songs off his new EP, Uptown (a Roy Orbison cover) and Dublin Blues (a Guy Clark cover) which were both equally wonderful. If they are anything to go by, it's definitely a record that will be worth investing in once it has been released.

His warm, comforting vocals seem able to pull off any song or cover and make for extremely easing listening.

Just listening to Dickenson's music relaxes you, meaning it would have been almost impossible to feel stressed last night especially with his natural ability to alter the entire mood of a room.

One of the highlights of the set was when they all gathered around one microphone to perform Seven Spanish Angels by Willie Nelson. Their voices elegantly blended together to create a sound so divine that your attention could not have been drawn away from them. It was a stunning cover and something that you could easily listen to on repeat.

Another particularly memorable moment was Dickenson's heart-warming song Goodbye - a sentimental track that he dedicated to his late grandfather. It's a heart-wrenchingly divine track that was understandably delivered with visible emotion - something that made it that much more relatable.

Throughout the performance the crowd were hauntingly silent, listening intently to every lyric and guitar strum. There's something hugely respectful about the way British crowds appreciate music, something that many American-born singers seem to comment on.

Jarrod Dickenson has a knack of writing songs that capture stories and emotions, paired with a natural ability to deliver them with absolute sophistication.

He's a delight to watch perform and hugely deserving of continued success - and definitely worth a listen if you have the chance.

It must also be said that the staff at Norwich Arts Centre have nailed it once again - as they always seem to do.

The sound and levels were spot on allowing you to lose yourself in the music without the distraction of any technical mishaps. They did a fantastic job, with subtle lighting too, which just completed what was a perfect evening of music.

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