Paul F. P. Pogue
Kendall Ludwig and friends
Boulevard Place Café
Friday, March 10
Kendall Ludwig and Benjamin Goul performed at Boulevard Place March 10.
Acoustic singer/songwriter Kendall Ludwig was living in Sicily and saw a couple in their 70s engaging in some public displays of affection. "In America, we'd be grossed out by that, but I was inspired," he says. It was experiences like that which led him to write "We'll Never Grow Old," one of the songs he performed at his Friday evening show at Boulevard Place Café.
Ludwig's style is pleasantly rhythmic, featuring a deep, rich voice, though he has a slight tendency to swallow his words and lose the impact before they come all the way out.
"That's my only angry song tonight," Ludwig said after one piece. By and large his work is melancholy and mournful, both words and music are infused with a sadness that is intensified by the addition of guitarist Benjamin Goul and vocals from Chicago's Lindsey Czechowicz. As is often the case with such collaborations between folk/acoustic musicians, eventually everyone wound up on stage, working their way into each others' songs, unrehearsed and spontaneous. It's fascinating to listen to a song as it progresses into the second and third choruses and everyone picks up on the sing-along, echoing and rounding through the room.
Ludwig said that though his work is driven by emotion, it's about the search for unexpected beauty and is hopeful at the core. "I see a lot of beauty all around me, and I like to write about it, and a lot of times it's something that other people wouldn't consider beautiful ... It's about relationships - sometimes bad breakups, sometimes just one that's not there anymore, and you're sad about that, but you're also kind of glad it turned out that way."