by Meredith Breedwell Rabe
'Tis the season for cozying up in dimly lit bars, Cabernet in hand, and listening to someone’s voice that is just as smooth as the California grapes you are sipping. And that’s just what I did when the hubs and I enjoyed a night out on the town in Peoria Heights at Noir with our evening soundtrack provided by Jon Conover.
Now, I can be found painting part of Peoria red in the Heights but Noir is not one of my usual go –to spots. In fact, I only really like the couches, the wine, and when Jon plays. What can I say, I’m a girl who likes to eat and any mention of Tapas make me feel like I’m a contestant on the Hunger games.
I first heard the talented Jon Conover when we double dated at Noir last winter and I’ve been a Fanover since.
A boy who hails from Sandwich, IL Jon who plays an acoustic with a glass of red wine within reach has a set that is a welcome change from the cover only bands that seem to grace Peoria stages. His solo set is a rhythm of both original music and covers, where he still manages to allow his talent to shine through another artist’s lyrics and melodies to make them his own. Belting out Singing Boys of Summer in a darkly lit room with black and white movies playing on the screen behind him, he’ll make you think he originally recorded it instead of the legendary Eagles.
As we sat there with in arms reach of the bar and my wine glass, his music was able to transport my soul to memories of enjoying some of my personal favorite artists, Mumford and Sons, Ray Lamontgane, and Amos Lee. But the surprise of the night was that of his original song I’m Coming Home, which I can only assume is an inspiration of his travels worldwide pursing his dream and actually coming home. The lyrics which depict anyone who has moved or traveled and the found out that there’s really no place like home.
Jon, who is trained in Gospel singing, allows him to showcase his vocal talent. He dips his toes in the pool of acoustic soul, while managing to be authentic and standing on his own two feet of unique sound. You can tell this artist is not just someone who plays for a hobby on the weekends earning tips to pay his bar tab. His professionalism radiates his Nashville past, his future in working with Grammy award winning producers, and what I would like to think a lot more from his potential rockstar future.
We wrapped up our night, truly enjoying our wine and his sound, taking it all in, which is how I recommend seeing Jon. A big venue artist he is not. You wouldn’t appreciate what you are listening to with his sound getting lost in the sea of emptiness, you need an intimate venue, where you can sit, sip, and enjoy.
For more about Jon Conover including the next time he’s in town, hit up his facebook page. He also has two albums up on Spotify.