Kingston brings country music to the College

By Alexa Rocco
Correspondent

On Friday, Sept. 25th, Cub Alt organized an acoustic concert in the basement of Decker Hall. The concert had two performers — the opening act, Lenny Martelli, and main act, Kingston, a band made up of two brothers.

The Kingston brothers sing a medley of covers. (Dana Gorab / Staff Photographer)
The Kingston brothers sing a medley of covers. (Dana Gorab / Staff Photographer)

Lenny Martelli, a 21-year-old country performer who studies at St. Joseph’s University, opened the show by singing an acoustic cover of Nick Jonas’ hit song “Jealous,” followed by “Blank Space” and “Style” from Taylor Swift’s “1989” album.

Martelli, who grew up minutes outside of Philadelphia in Norristown, Pa., was formerly a member of a punk rock band before transitioning into the country scene.

“Performing solo is fun, but I do miss the other people (in my band),” Martelli said.

Martelli strummed his acoustic guitar while he sang, and told the crowd he knows how to play 14 other instruments, including the drums, bass, ukulele and piano.

“I grab everything I can try to play, I like to try everything,” Martelli said.

After his Taylor Swift covers, Martelli moved on to his original work, beginning with “Say Hello” and then flowing into “Because of Me,” a song he was inspired to write after his friend went through a breakup.

The song focuses on feelings of guilt and self-blame after a breakup with someone you love.

He then sang “All Time,” followed by a mashup of cover songs “Take You Down” by Chris Brown, “Ride” by Somo and “Let Me Love You” by Mario. He finished his performance with two originals, “When I’m With You” and “Little Do You Know,” which are both available on iTunes.

Following Martelli’s performance, brothers Zach and Josh Kingston of the Nashville, Tenn., country band Kingston, began their performance. The duo opened with a cover of “You Got it Bad” by Usher. They were able to put their own spin on the song, turning it into a nearly unrecognizable, slow, country acoustic.

The brothers have been performing together since they were 13 years old.

“We didn’t go to college, we got a record deal instead,” Josh said.

Before launching into a cover of “Can’t Feel My Face” by the Weeknd, Josh said that he and his brother enjoy taking popular songs from the radio and changing them up to make them all their own.

The brothers even challenged the audience to listen closely to the beat and sing along once they figured out which pop song they were performing.

When it comes to the band’s original works, Josh said they write about everyday life and the “situations (that) we go through on a daily basis.”

The brothers performed their original songs, “Strangers,” and “Shania” — a song inspired by a friend, but entitled “Shania” as a way to pay tribute to legendary country star Shania Twain.

They then sang a beautiful and interesting cover of the very emotional “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith. They also sang an upbeat and countrified cover of “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars, before performing covers of “Rumor” and “Maneater” by Hall & Oates.

Although it was a small crowd, the audience was able to interact with the three performers during the intimate gathering.

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