Monday, February 6, 2023

Mary Lambert Captivates at Mercy Lounge


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Singer-songwriter Mary Lambert packed Mercy Lounge during the Nashville stop on her “Heart on My Sleeve” Tour Tuesday night.

The heartfelt concert began with a performance by Jillette Johnson. Johnson, a bluesy singer-songwriter, played songs from her debut album, Water in a Whale, as well as new songs that she has only played on this tour. She and her piano were only accompanied by guitarist, Matt Pynn. Her simplistic set was breathtaking because of her voice and lyrics.

She opened with “Cameron,” her song written about abuse and gender identity, which left the crowd in awe because of the intensity of the lyrics and her one-of-a-kind voice. Although not all of her music carried the same emotional weight, she kept the crowd happy with her earth-shaking raspy voice.

After an intermission, Mary Lambert took the stage. Opening with jokes and a love song, “When You Sleep,” Lambert instantly captivated the audience. At the end of each song, Lambert would tell funny anecdotes about her life, time on the road, girlfriend and cats which kept the audience engaged and even led to one attendee to giving Lambert a pair of cat-shaped earrings, a reference to her song “Secrets.”

Although there was laughter and a few pop songs, Lambert used her beautiful voice and piano to address the issues with which she is concerned. Lambert’s debut album, Heart on My Sleeve, her singles “She Keeps Me Warm” and “Secrets” and her feature performance on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” have all openly portrayed her stance about positive body image and open sexuality, but she took on an unexpected issue when she played “Ribcage”.

“Ribcage” was written about her rape and the frivolousness which an unnamed television host addressed it.

“If they really cared, they would ask about my rape in a manner other than a two and a half minute window before the next commercial,” Lambert said.

All of her songs and lyrics were thought-provoking and well-performed.

“I like what I do because I like the feeling of being vulnerable,” Lambert explained while addressing the personal nature of her lyrics. “I believe that vulnerability leads to empathy and that empathy will save us all.”

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To contact Lifestyles editor John Connor Coulston, email

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