What a treat this was! First off you had the intricate songs of Canadian award winning singer-songwriter, Amelia Curran followed by The fabulous Bronwynne Brent Trio.
On establishing a wonderful report with her audience, Amelia Curran from St Johns NL spoke of her home and goodself between her wonderful songs. As in the excellent poetic tales of “Reverie” ,in “I Am The Night” and the beautiful flowing “Blackbird On Fire”.
A singer-songwriter of deep, sometimes quirky material lots was divulged as Curran rang the changes in an impressive artistic fashion. Most comfortable when using metaphors to describe her emotions, and personal views of life Amelia soon won over those unfamiliar with her work.
I felt Amelia was too keen to undervalue her great talent, and given a little more confidence, she could quite easily become as near as popular here as she is back home! Her style of songwriting and end product isn’t that far removed from Nashville’s Beth Nielson Chapman...
The main act, Bronwynne Brent Trio consisted of Bronwynne Brent on acoustic guitar and vocals, plus double-bass (Euan Burton) and electric guitar, harmony vocals (Jamie Sturt) & had them making their debut trip around the UK, but with performances like this it’s sure be the first of many tours.
While her two sidemen took a little while to connect with her musically, which was partly due to them standing way to her left, they did eventually become a complete unit. By which time the audience were hooked, line and sinker with her work.
Bob Harris for one hasn’t been slow in discovering Bronwynne's talent with the Trio doing a recording session for his show (check the BBC’s website for details) while over here.
I understand it was Bronwynne’s first trip of any real distance outside her home State of Mississippi, which I found difficult to believe on hearing the little lady sing. Her ability to draw the listener in through her staggering range of vocals and nail a song was both a rarity and a delight throughout her show.
Brent’s musical style not only embraces the American South as country, blues, folk and hints of jazz are tied together, but through a fine art of story-telling she took the listener into her own very special little world.
It was interesting to hear the quiet, unassuming Brent confess to finding it hard to sit before an audience. But able to do one to ones and also talk freely with the checkout girl. But she did nothing wrong on stage and a host of things right, not least she showed great control with her voice.
Apart from a stop you dead in your tracks voice, which boasts hints of Billie Holiday and on occasions the furrow she walks isn’t too distant from the finest tones of Amy Winehouse, Brent sounded as rural and charming as they come !
As for her best songs, the dark “Devil Again” and “After You’re Gone” and an irony filled “Don’t Tell Your Secrets To The Wind” was of another class. There were other excellent songs too, plus she finished with another “Fire In The Hole”. This, as Brent acknowledged the work of the late singer-songwriter, Hazel Dickens. What a talent, what a terrific find.
Maurice Hope -( pics Charles & Juan )