Jeffrey Gaines | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN |

Harrisburg singer-songwriter Jeffrey Gaines is fresh off the success of his latest self-released LP, Alright, and his set was bright and soulful and even reminded me a little bit of Bruce Springsteen. The cool thing about Gaines is that his music, and the order in which he plays his songs, feels a lot like a conversation with the crowd. He’s able to easily transition from big movement-like songs, to slow, crooning lullabies to really keep the audience on their toes. As he said several times, he typically plays to the individual, and he values crowd connection and the human experience.

Gaines’s sound ranges somewhere between bluesy Americana and alt rock. He threw in his trademark cover of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes,” and that was the moment that reaffirmed where his music stands, categorically. It was a stunning cover, and I wish Gabriel could have heard it himself. That break in the setlist was definitely the crowdpleaser, re-engaging everyone so they’d get up and dance a little.

The set slowed down towards the end when Gaines explained how he reworked his writing style to tailor towards individual listeners, and he played us a few soft and earnest pieces, filling in the gaps with intense fingerpicking and harmonies.

Gaines is a people person onstage, and often times those performers are the most fun to watch, because you feel truly engaged and a part of an experience. A large crowd suddenly becomes the most personal of spaces and you feel like the artist has really zeroed in on you as an individual when they address the audience. Gaines has that down, and all he asked in return is that we “fall in love if we can.”

You can see Gaines tonight at Kennett Flash in Kennett Square at 8:00 to celebrate Alright‘s release. Tickets and more info can be found here can be found here; listen back to his Free at Noon and check out a gallery of photos below.

Jeffrey Gaines 6.29.18

Firefly Hollow
Hero In Me
Seems to Me
In Your Eyes
Feel Alright
Children’s Games
Thick & Thin
Always Be