Thursday, July 5, 2012

Stellar start for inspiring songstress Renee Yohe


     ReneeYohe's recently formed solo music group, “BEARCAT,” triumphantly returned to the stage in Orlando at Park Avenue CDs, a small independently owned music store, after undergoing their first tour. Local fans and family showed up to give support to a talented young woman whose story has inspired help for millions in need.

     “The most important thing is reaching out and connecting with other people,” said Yohe. And that she does, not only in her music but also with countless interactions that occur online and in person between Renee and her supporters.

     The small independent record store was packed with fans and family, all lined up between rows of compact discs and vinyl records. The close-knit, personalized atmosphere of Park Avenue CDs created an overall irreverent vibe that was perfect for this unique artist's performance.

     The enchanting vocals of Yohe reflect a talent far beyond her years. Confident and cool with every note performed, it's hard to believe that Yohe has only recently stepped into the world of live music within the last year and a half.

     Synthesized effects and steady backing rhythms created a classically infused modern sound with an upbeat attitude. Fans joyfully applauded between songs, with many in attendance only hearing the band over the internet previously.

     Yohe has focused her creative mind into a rapidly rising music career backed by a confident persona and unique, modern, retro style. Shows at large venues have been selling out, and larger numbers of fans are saluting the music quality and personal songwriting.

     Many have learned about Renee's personal battles after her story inspired the non-profit group, “To Write Love on Her Arms,” which works to help people coping with addiction, depression, self injury and thoughts of suicide. Yohe life story also inspired the recently debuted film, “Renee,” starring Kat Dennings as Renee and Chad Michael Murray as TWLOHA founder Jamie Tworkowski.

     Renee openly talks about the mistakes of her past and has helped others dealing with problems in their own lives, not as a therapist, but as a friend, with a few simple words of encouragement or advice to complete strangers reaching out for guidance.

     Before each song Renee would briefly explain the inspiration behind her music, be it funny nostalgia or real life trauma. Building an honest relationship like this is refreshing to find in a world of music more concerned with materialization than personalization.

     “It's really meaningful and deep music,” said BEARCAT fan Amber Garrison. She had only seen the band before on YouTube, and was amazed by the quality of the live performance.

     The most meaningful part of the show, unbeknownst to most there, was Renee's parents Dene and Tom Yohe, who saw their daughter perform live with BEARCAT for the first time.

     “I thought it was great,” said Renee's father Tom Yohe. “I was surprised how well they sounded just in a small record store, and it came across very well,”

     Renee originally started singing music in a choral program at her elementary school back in Illinois, and always had an ability to harmonize. After encountering a lackluster music program when they moved to Florida, she fell more into sports like soccer during middle and high school.

     “We are 100 percent behind her,” said Dene Yohe, Renee's mom. “We’re just thrilled, and we love her music.”

     Dene couldn’t believe how soulful Renee sounded when she first heard her sing within the last few years.

     Renee can't wait to get back on the road and writing more music as she continues to define her style. BEARCAT has only one more show in Orlando, a CD release party at BackBooth in downtown this Saturday, July 7. They will immediately be flying out to California to continued working on music and performing more shows currently being scheduled. More info can be found at their official website http://www.Bearcatmusic.com

By James Tutten

(Photos by James Tutten)

 



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