BLOGGING AND VLOGGING FROM CANADA'S BEST KNOWN UNDISCOVERED OLD WHITE BLUESMAN

Tuesday, December 3, 2002

Mark wrote:

of the women's blues revue!!

can someone please share the wealth.......and let us know how it went.....



*****You missed a great night, Mark. Here a re-post of my late-night reply on canadianblues-l. Joe Curtis sent me a more detailed review which I won't be able to use in the newsletter (sorry, Joe) but maybe he'll post it here - (or maybe he has already - Joe, is that *you* posting to mapleblue under the pseudonym music1won???) BrianB



At 11:16 PM 11/23/02 -0600, you wrote:

>Could anyone provide a quick recap/review on the Women's Blues Revue show.

>Could not afford the airfair from Manitoba to see it in person.



Manitoba's own Tracy K really got things off to a great start and Dawn Tyler Watson brought the house down at the end. I was especially delighted to see Diana Braithwaite on the stage doing her thing with a voice that is so distinctive and emotive that she could go away for ten years and you would remember it the minute you heard it again (which may have been the case for some in the audience). Diana has been out of the scene for a while but the audience was immediately swept under her spell. She followed Anne-Marie Woods was making her debut as a solo artist - and boy does she have a voice! You wouldn't believe it was her first time fronting a band. There was not a weak set in the whole evening, though some may have thought there were too many slow tunes, but it was an older crowd and they appreciated the quiet stuff as much as the shouters. Serena Ryder made a lot of new fans and sold a whack of CDs. She nailed the Etta James classic "At Last". Lee Aaron gave a great performance, too and must have surprised many of her old fans with the "softer side" of the former "metal queen". I didn't see all of Georgette's set but she owns that stage when she steps up and, like Diana, has a such a distinctive voice that you would recognize her on a car radio 2 blocks away. She was the evening's favourite to at least two people I spoke to. But there was no way to pick favourites among such a bevy of talent. Even Suzie Vinnick's one tune at the start of the second set many hearts aflutter, too, and was a big after-show buzz.



Many of the singers referred to family in the audience and the whole thing has a real "family" vibe. The WBR Band has become a de-facto family and this is their annual get together. It's a real love-in and mutual admiration society. Colleen Allen who missed last year's show was welcomed back like a long lost sister - and boy did she play her heart out. Her solos melted the audience. Someone who really helps make it feel like "family" is Shelagh Rogers who was still making friends with everybody at the after-concert party long after most had left. She even got her sister to fly in from Vancouver to see the show! And, despite a grueling schedule, promises to be back next year. Next year I want to hear Shelagh sing more than "Happy Birthday"! (she did a spontaneous a capella version for Holger Peterson).



As we left the Music Hall, I dropped in on Bradley and the Bouncers with my old buddy Professor Piano playing and singing and the lovely Maureen Brown on drums, one of the pioneers of the Women's Blues Revue. After schmoozing a bit at the Swan I drove Canada's pre-eminent music publicist to the Dollar to hear the the last of Duke Robillard's set. Dawn and another group went down to Healey's to catch Sue Foley (and by all accounts, she was rockin'). When last seen, Tracy and Dawn were making their way out of the Silver Dollar (as they were closing up the joint) to head back to the hotel and enjoy a late night snack in their jammies. I wanted to come along but that was not to be. Oh well. What a great blues town this is (I'm sure Winnipeg is fun, too, though a little more chilly).