TicketMOMster Review: Women in Blues @ The Park Theatre (Jan. 7, 2017)
2016 was the year my world exploded and my family and friends dropped dead in clusters. Through the trauma and grief, I’ve learned two lessons that I’d like to share with you:
1. Grief doesn’t end after the funeral is over.
2. Grief doesn’t end when you replace your 2016 calendar.
Christmas was particularly hard on me and I’ve been feeling really low lately. So when I saw a local event on the Manitoba Music calendar called “Women in Blues”, I immediately bought a ticket.
I arrived at The Park Theatre 40 minutes before show time and the place was almost full. I tried to find a seat, but they were all taken, which both surprised and bummed me out.
There were couches along the walls of the theatre and about half a dozen round tables on the floor with a few stools at each table. While that set up is good for younger crowds so they can mingle and dance, the average audience member at this show was probably 50 yrs old and up.
I’m not an event planner, but I think chairs would have been a great idea considering the age of the crowd. I know the people around me were a bit irritated they might have to stand for up to four hours.
I stood beside the bar next to a guy who looked exactly like Donald Sutherland (women were asking him for his picture) and then I scanned the room. I didn’t recognize anyone which was pretty exciting. I have virtually no experience with the local Blues scene, so I knew I was in for something different.
Tracy K and her band were up first. I’d never seen her before and I was struck by (and really enjoyed) her harmonica playing. Tracy just turned 55 years old, but she has the energy of someone half her age. She looked comfortable on stage and managed to pull off a pretty fun set. Near the end, the stage was pumpin’.
I’d never seen Angel Calnek (Hillbilly Burlesque) before either and she was good, but I was excited to see her drummer, Julie. I’ve known Julie (not personally) ever since I was a little girl. I’ve seen her play percussion, but never a full kit and it w as so great to finally see that. I love watching people do things that make them happy. I’ve never really seen Julie smile, but she was smiling from ear to ear Saturday night and I loved it.
Near the end of the set, Tracy K joined the band with her harmonica. It’s amazing what the addition of a harmonica can do for a song. Just that one element can turn a good song into a great one by adding another interesting layer to that tune.
After Angel’s set, I was pretty tired. Usually I stay until shows are finished, but grief is exhausting and lately I’m really wiped out. Plus, the “liquid courage” around me started to kick in, so I decided to leave after Romi Mayes’ set.
I keep promoting Romi’s shows on my “Upcoming Winnipeg Shows” list, but I’ve never actually seen her perform. Before last night, I had no idea what she sounded like, but she was on my radar of musicians to see.
Romi’s set was heavier and grittier than the first two sets and her voice was really cool. Guitarist Chris Carmichael played a great solo during the second last song (didn’t catch the name) and the band played well as a whole.
Romi had a bit of a potty mouth, which I’m totally fine with. Sometimes you need “sentence enhancers” and I get that. I am, however, going to overlook the fact that she licked someone’s boob sweat at the front of the stage. That made me gag, but at least I’ll know what I’m in for next time I see her and it’s a good reminder to stay away from the front of the stage. Heheh…
I’m going to be completely honest with you, this show wasn’t what I was expecting or looking for last night. I know I only saw three bands, but I was hoping for slower, more emotional blues. Basically, I wanted to see a woman sit on stage with a slide guitar, sing her heart out about how her husband left her, her dog died and her house burnt down. Then I wanted her to launch into an emotionally charged slide guitar solo that wrapped around my broken heart and hoisted it to the rafters. In hindsight, maybe that was asking too much. With lyrics like that, maybe I should have been searching out local venues that play Country music.
Regardless, based on three bands, this was a really upbeat, fun show and I’m thrilled it was so well attended and from what I saw, well received. I hope there’ll be another one, complete with chairs.
TicketMOMster is a Rock and Jazz-loving Mom; single-handedly keeping Ticketmaster alive in Winnipeg. Follow her musical journey here: www.facebook.com/TicketMOMsters