By Desney Cody
“Gambler’s Daughter takes her very own experiences, thoughts and perspectives on life and the world around her and is able to create poetry, then adds musical melodies to it. She doesn’t write “typical” songs, as in a verse, bridge, chorus, another verse and a chorus that is repeated a couple more times. Her songs are in essence over-sized poems.”
Gambler’s Daughter is the musical pseudonym for Twin Cities native Jessa Roquet, a musician seemingly born into the music scene, with both parents being folk artists. Roquet pulls much of her influence from what she had been exposed to in her life; but adds her own flare with her more poetic lyrics, a soulful connection with nature and her interpersonal stories.
On January 27th, 2017, Roquet performed at the Black Dog Cafe in Lowertown, St. Paul to promote the release of her self titled EP; Gambler’s Daughter. It was an intimate show, which is always interesting. Gambler’s Daughter and Alison Rae–the opening act, were able to draw a pretty big crowd–the restaurant and bar was packed. While a large draw is really good for the artist, it was difficult to be a listener at this particular venue. The issue with it being in a bar/restaurant, especially on Friday night, is that some of the people are not there because of the show, so they continue on with their dinner, drinks and conversation–as they should. Unfortunately, the venue’s sound person wasn’t able to compensate for the loud background noise, and it took away from the experience that the audience was trying to get and enjoy from the performers.
Alison Rae, played a fully acoustic set with a soft indie/folk vibe. It was very easy listening, relaxing and she was able to lessen the tensions of the audience that are always present at the beginning of a show. It was comfortable. One song that stuck out the most was her cover of Death Cab for Cutie’s hit, “I Will Follow You Into the Dark,” a slow, acoustic track that was in tune with her sad and melancholic-ish style. You might not know that it was a cover if it was your first time listening to it as she really made it her own. Alison Rae also featured songs about her son and Grandpa, which made the performance much more intimate because she was able to share such personal stories and connections with the audience.
The Gambler’s Daughter EP only features four tracks. It’s very short and sweet. But Roquet did not only play those four songs and then just be done. Instead, she gave the audience a taste of what is to come on the next album that she is working on. A total of 12 tracks were performed, so it was a full on show, and not just a quick 20-minute set which was nice.
Gambler’s Daughter takes her very own experiences, thoughts and perspectives on life and the world around her and is able to create poetry, then adds musical melodies to it. She doesn’t write “typical” songs, as in a verse, bridge, chorus, another verse and a chorus that is repeated a couple more times. Her songs are in essence over-sized poems.
The Gambler’s Daughter EP release show at the Black Dog Cafe, while was not the greatest sound wise; was a success in that both Alison Rae and Gambler’s Daughter put on an intensely intimate and personal show. If there was one thing that stood out to me, it was the storytelling aspect, and how well it can resonate with the audience.