By Kevin Rutherford
Occasionally Saturday Night Live departs from usual roster of musical guests, which is to say a lineup of major recording artists, from rap stars to pop and country icons.
Then there’s its short but formidable list of up-and-coming artists, singers and bands who have either just found their first taste of U.S. radio success or have the potential to do so in the coming months.
George Ezra fits in with the latter crowd. A British singer-songwriter who’s found success in Europe particularly with the single “Budapest,” he brought his baritone vocal to the SNL stage to make a name for himself in the States: and that, likely, he did.
It began with “Budapest,” naturally. The 21-year-old Ezra played it straight, his bluesy vocal betraying his age. Perhaps most endearing was his fingerpicked guitar, often held high on his chest as he glanced confidently at the camera and the surrounding crowd.
“Blame It on Me” followed, another song that’s found a formidable international audience. Ezra swayed from side to side on the decidedly up-tempo track (its tempo such certainly compared to the slow-burning “Budapest”), all smiles once he was finished.