Moving into fall

After a summer on the west coast that was possibly the driest and hottest in a century, we are finally heading back to our familiar rain showers, misty mornings and fields of green. With that, our shows and concerts move from outdoor venues and festivals to the warmth of an indoor circuit.

I’ll be spending the fall and winter seasons playing shows from Vancouver’s Guilt & Company with my trio to a solo performance at Chicks with Picks at Vancouver’s Fairview. Then I’ll be heading back to Washington with a trio performance at the iconic, Conway Muse where diverse acts like Eric Bibb, Duffy Bishop, and the Fabulous Roofshakers have recently performed. I’ll also be participating in upcoming Blues to Do women’s shows in Seattle.

Happy fall everyone and stay tuned for more postings.

NORTHWEST FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL

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This year’s Northwest Folklife Festival is all about beats, rhythms and the traditional roots of the music we enjoy today. I’m thrilled to be a part of the 44th Annual Festival as a blues performer and have been inspired by the artists who paved the way for contemporary blues artists, especially the women. From the guitar stylings of sister Rosetta Thorpe and Memphis Minnie to the slide playing of Bonnie Raitt and Debbie Davies, there are plenty of women who’ve led the way for the next generation of female blues musicians. I’ll be playing a featured set as part of the Lady Sings the Blues Showcase on Friday May 22nd at 4:45pm. C’mon out and enjoy the Festival.

Musings on Mother’s Day and Lovestruck Blues

It was one year ago, the day before Mother’s Day that I released my original blues CD, Lovestruck Blues and performed my songs at a club in Vancouver, BC. The evening was delightful with a full house including friends, family and talented musicians who’d been a part of my project and who joined in the performance. But the most poignant moment of the show came when we dimmed the lights and my daughter, Michelle and I sang together on my ballad, Without You.

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Jill Newman & daughter Michelle

It had been a great experience recording with Michelle. I’m not sure if I was inspired by Levon Helm and daughter Amy or perhaps the Judd’s, but there’s something really special about recording and singing as mother and daughter, no matter how divergent the styles. We were never a typical family; performing together in musical theatre shows with my daughter acting and singing and me playing guitar while dressed in black so the audience wouldn’t be distracted by the band. We often found ourselves driving home from shows way too late on school nights. And it wasn’t unusual in our household for me to be rocking out on Kurt Cobain riffs or Led Zeppelin, while my daughter, as a young child, belted out the newest show tunes and told me to turn it down.

Michelle recently graduated with an opera degree, while I continue to write and play my roots infused blues. It seemed fitting that we  recorded together and sang the new tunes in front of an audience filled with family and friends. As Mother’s Day approaches I am reminded of that special CD release performance and of how proud I am of my daughter and the recording we made together.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

International Women’s Month

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As part her month long International Women’s Day celebrations, Marlee Walker of Blues To Do will be featuring female musicians and I’ve been invited back to the Feedback Lounge in Seattle with my blues trio on March 24th.

Reflections on the New Year

I’ve been having a great time since the release of my CD Lovestruck Blues, playing gigs from Seattle to Vancouver with some very memorable shows and notable reviews along the way. I look forward to returning to some of my favorite venues like the Conway Muse in Conway, WA which has a magical vibe –a former dairy barn with high ceilings, rich wooden walls and a warm sound that fills the room. The Muse is all about original music and it has some of the best touring blues and roots acts in the Pacific Northwest.

This year also brought me opportunities for musical collaboration – as the guitarist with some fabulous women of the blues at Marlee Walker’s Pink & Blues show in Seattle. I’ll be returning there in the spring for the Women of the Blues shows and also for a televised show with my trio. At the Madison Avenue Pub (Ladies First III) I shared the stage with some very talented women including Mary McPage, Lori Hardman, Cindy Lang and Sheri Roberts Greims. I’m returning in February as a featured guitarist with Paul and Willow, the fine team behind the Unbound Sound Production.

From festival shows to the Dakota Creek Winery and the International Art Festival in Peace Arch Park to the Kulshan Brewery, Madison Avenue Pub, Cottage Bistro, Porter’s Coffeehouse and one of my favorite Vancouver venues, Guilt & Company, it’s been a music filled year and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to do what I love to do, play music for anyone who’s willing to listen. Here’s to a 2015 filled with adventure, collaboration with friends old and new and playing the blues.

Church of the Blues

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Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 

The COTB is proud to present Jill Newman

at the Songwriter Showcase

Ladies First III show success!

 

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November’s been a busy month with shows in Seattle, Bellingham, Everett and Vancouver, BC.

Bellingham bassist, Jeff Gray (formerly with the Dusty 45’s) joined me on upright bass for a post Halloween duo show at the Kulshan Brewery which was a blast.

The Ladies First III show last Saturday night at the Madison Avenue Pub in Everett was a great success.

The venue was packed and the women being featured, Cindy Lang, Mary McPage, Sherry Roberts Greims, Lori Hardman delivered strong sets of covers and original material.   I rocked out in the middle set on slide with my original tunes and the backup band with Brian Butler, guitar, Paul Quilty, bass and Wayde Leslie, drums was really solid.   And I have to thank Paul not only for sharing his birthday with us, but for creating a really cool poster that audience members had the performers sign. I love the shared show idea as it makes for an entertaining night for audiences who get to support their local favourites and to check out artists they’ve never heard before.

Women in the Blues

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At a recent benefit for WA drummer and veteran, David Chapman’s family held in Bellingham, I met some fine women musicians. There were a lot of players who came out to honor David and his family. The “girl power” portion of the show where Mary McPage led a group of female vocalists with me on lead guitar performing one of her original song. It was an awesome experience. After some folks heard me play, I received a number of invites to perform at some very cool events. I’m thrilled to add these to my calendar.

Two upcoming events include Marlee Walker’s Blues To Do Live “Women in Blues Musical Collaboration” at the Feedback Lounge - 6451 California Ave. SW, Seattle. I’ll be playing there on October 21st with a group of fine women players and singers. After two successful Ladies First Shows, the Madison Pub - 905 Madison St in Everett features the Ladies First III Show on Saturday Nov. 8th. The event showcases five female artists for a set per artist and I’m thrilled to be part of that event. Stay tuned for pictures and updates!

Leaning in to the fall season

After an extended summer season of playing on outdoor patios well into September, it’s time to take the show indoors.

I’m looking forward to exciting gigs from Vancouver, BC to Seattle, WA. I’ll be playing a show on Saturday Oct. 18th at the funky Conway Muse in Conway WA with Jeff Gray (Formerly Dusty 45’s) on upright bass.

On Saturday Nov. 1st, Jeff and I play a show at Bellingham’s Kulshan Brewery. It’s my unofficial wedding anniversary that day, but fortunately I have an understanding spouse.

Women in the blues shows this fall: Pink & Blues: Oct. 21st at 8pm.- A Women in Blues Musical Collaboration Tuesdays at the Feedback Lounge, Seattle. On Saturday Nov. 8th it’s Ladies First III at Madison Avenue Pub in Everett where I’ll be featured as part of a women artist showcase.

December 7th I’m back in Vancouver, BC with my trio for an evening of originals and covers at Guilt & Co. Check out my gig calendar for show locations and details.

 

Atira summer barbecue success

My solo show at the ScotiaBank and Atira barbecue fundraiser was a great event with visits from local politicians, the fire department and an all-ages crowd gathered for an afternoon barbecue, all in support of Atira Women’s Resource Society to end violence against women. The skies cleared and we enjoyed a sunny afternoon with music, information booths and great food. I had a lively chat with an elderly man who told me he had been an avid guitar player and wanted to talk about effects pedals and amps. Just goes to show that you’re never too old to be a gearhead. Best part of the day, Atira met their fundraising goal of $15,000 which was matched by ScotiaBank for a grand total of $30,000.