The first Tuesday Night Live of the year brought talented Nashville singer Kyshona Armstrong to the Friends Hall stage. Armstrong, originally from South Carolina, is a powerhouse entertainer who specializes in traditional country ballads.
Opening the show was popular Ramapo student musician NJ Gordon. Gordon, who usually appears with an ensemble of musicians, opted to be a one-man band. He used his keyboard to play an original song but also performed a fusion of music from John Legend and Coldplay.
Armstrong took the stage shortly after displacing NJ to drums; she took center stage wielding an acoustic guitar. The self-proclaimed storyteller played almost all-original music with the exception of a cover of MGMT’s “Electric Feel.” Her music stems from personal experiences as well as the complications her friends and family have faced.
“I do one day want love; I’ve had a lot of friends that have had heartbreak, so I had to learn from them. Sometimes it's not about the goal, it's about the journey,” Armstrong stated on stage.
The country singer also drew inspiration from her years as a musical therapist in the Southern United States. Assisting people through the healing abilities of music paved the way for Armstrong to search within herself to become an artist.
Toward the end of the performance Armstrong had to endure a broken guitar string, which she managed with ease. She got the crowd involved by having them chant a lyric to one of her songs as she quickly mended the string into place. Despite this snag the audience was very much engaged and Armstrong showed a bit more of her personality, taking the inconvenience lightly saying “she [the guitar] is tired of me beating her up.”
Her background of country, gospel and bluegrass roots bound together within many of her songs, making them exceptionally powerful. Armstrong’s voice had a traditional country sound that resonated throughout Friends Hall, amplified by the commanding strumming of her guitar.
The beginning of the fall TNL season was a strong one regarding the choice of performer. The attendance, however, was less than tremendous. Only a handful of students came to watch the show but the ones who stayed seemingly enjoyed the music. The College Programming Board looks to bring lesser-known musicians and other acts to Ramapo for the enjoyment of the student body and they have succeeded once again.