This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending Amelia Curran‘s sold-out performance at the Nickelodeon Music Club in Calgary. If you haven’t heard of Amelia before, she is a Juno Award winning Canadian Singer-songwriter from St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Amelia’s music can be described as indie-folk, or alternative-country. She incorporates story telling over finger-picked acoustic guitar. Accompanying her on the accordion and providing vocal harmonies was Catherine Allen, another St. John’s native.
The Nickelodeon Music Club is based out of the Crescent Heights Community hall. It seats 193 people, most of which are season ticket holders. It is run by volunteers and has a true community feel to it. The audience was a welcoming and polite group of true music fans. The stage, albeit small, and room made for an intimate experience. The venue was well organized and the acoustics and sound were excellent.
Edmonton based Scott Cook opened the night with a 40 minute acoustic set. His pleasing baritone voice is well suited to his country-folk crooning. He told stories of camping with his buddies in the prairies, and sang of playing in bars to much less receptive crowds than the Nickelodeon. He will be having his CD release in Calgary at the Ironwood on May 9th.
After a brief intermission, Amelia Curran took to the stage with her acoustic guitar. Her awkward, yet endearing stage presence quickly became charming as the night went on. Between each song, Amelia would tell personal stories to the audience. Her stories were about how her songs were written, her roots as a Newfoundlander, why she doesn’t have an accent, her family, and the battle for a Guinness World Record. Her banter with Catherine Allen, who sang back up vocals, was reminiscent of David Letterman and Paul Shaffer. A couple geeky references to Dr. Who and Monty Python fell short on the audience, but I definitely appreciated them.
The night wrapped up quickly at the end of the set. Amelia had to catch a midnight flight back east so she could present an award.
As a newcomer to the Calgary Music scene, I feel that Calgary folk clubs are a bit of a hidden treasure. If you are a fan of Folk Music, check out http://calfolk.ca/groups/clubs.htm to see if there are any shows in your area. You won’t regret it!
For a taste of Amelia Currans live performace, you can watch her perform the song “The Mistress” on CBC’s QTV.
Listen to her track “Years” from her album Spectators.
You can also check out this live acoustic video of Scott Cook’s “High and Lonesome again“.
Hey you guys! Indie403 just did a review on the underthesheets album! 😀
Jenavive is one sexy woman. She has the obvious sexy qualities – her confidence, her voice, her legs – but it is “underthesheets”, her newly-released full-length album, that shows off the timeless and exceptional sexiness that brings Jenavive to the forefront of the musical sphere.
Released in August 2011 to kick off a cross-country tour, “underthesheets” shows off original and attention-grabbing songwriting. Her talents are decidedly Lady Gaga-esque, a label that comes from her strength and confidence, in addition to some stellar lyrics and singing abilities.
The album starts off with an explicit version of the single “Greedy”, a song that is both catchy and blissfully dirty. While the radio-friendly version of the song finishes off the album, it is the explicit version that catches the most attention and starts the album off with a somewhat literal bang. Stimulating from the first verse, “Greedy” is a musical offer of friendly benefits which may or may not include a third partner. These blatantly sexual lyrics are a demonstration of female power and it is her attitude and confidence that turn the listener onto the song and to the album as a whole.
Jenavive also shows signs of vulnerability and romance as she explores the other sides of love and relationships. By exploring relatable and common issues (such as relationship jealousy and insecurity in “Jealousy”), her songs reach out to the passionate and occasionally hurt person inside all of us, and does so in a way that is nicely composed and well-written. Each song comes with some degree of familiarity, and has the type of sound that makes you think you might have heard her music before but can’t quite place it. This is definitely a good thing: so many new artists try so hard to be “unique” or “different” that they just sound stupid and, ironically, the same. By appropriately showcasing her originality by playing on the familiar and admirably contributing to a well-loved and popular music arena, Jenavive has created songs that are memorable, catchy, and special. It is easy to sing along to this album, and for an artist of this genre, that element is important.
Jenavive is moving up quickly. She has already found a loyal legion of fans who follow her movements across the country, and with an incredible voice that is even better live, her talent is not one to be missed. Check out her website, MySpace or Facebook, buy her album, and drop into a live show, and then you can rightfully look back someday to say, “I knew her when…”
Thanks to some great connections made in Toronto during Canada Music Week, Greedy has been played on PODiMOUTH podcasts! Thanks to everyone who tuned in and who is sharing the word! Thanks to Homer Martinez who hosts the podcast for his awesome words!