Norma Jean at the Green Note
Norma Jean Martine graced the tiny stage at the Green Note venue in Camden last night with heart-wrenching renditions of songs so clearly her own, she even had a back story for almost each one. To call the show “intimate” would be an understatement – when Jean came out from behind her keyboard to perform Only in My Mind on acoustic guitar, there was no amplification at all. The young artist’s eyes, focused yet so relaxed, seemed to look right at her listeners while she sang unabashedly private lyrics with dynamic nuances ranging from low and breathy to grave and husky to unrestrained overdrive.
She wasn’t alone up there, though. Tracks like No Gold and Game Over came alive through backing vocals provided by Jean’s supporting duo on guitar and cajon. At times, their sound was so rich it felt like there must be more than three people on stage. In fact, none of the mics or instruments had any effects on them whatsoever – a very exposed performance environment – and this Middletown girl did not disappoint. She carried her voice and all its tiny imperfections across the room with easy abandon.
Although the budding star rambled on a bit between songs, it was more the run-on chatter of a slightly inebriated friend than the self-indulgent monologuing of a weathered diva. Her chilled out demeanour did, however, demonstrate a certain lack of performance skills. She tried but did not much encourage the audience to sing with her and sometimes came across as a little too informal, albeit rather lovable.
Overall, the singer-songwriter delivered 40 minutes of meticulously written, beautifully presented pop tunes while staying shy of the epithet of “performer”. Her music spoke for itself, though. The final tune, which she famously penned with the help of Burt Bacharach, was so heartfelt, her gaze so magnetic, there was immediate demand for an encore and endless applause at the end of the show.
For further information about Norma Jean Martine and future events visit here.
Watch the video for No Gold here: