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.
Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
The COTB is proud to present Jill Newman
at the Songwriter Showcase
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.
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!
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.
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.
Jill Newman travels back to a simpler time on Lovestruck Blues
Blame the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. And, while you’re at it, the White Stripes, Black Keys, and every other act that at some point decided the only thing Robert Johnson’s old recordings were missing was a lethal injection of distortion and some serious tub-thumping on the back-end. Somewhere along the line, blues rock fell out of fashion, replaced by blues rawk that sounds more indebted to Led Zeppelin than Leadbelly.
Jill Newman dials back time on Lovestruck Blues, a record that features an unfussy and economical production job that’s retro-sounding without seemingly precious or coldly calculated. The singer has a voice that’s more well-worn country twang than back-alley blues, but that works to her advantage on numbers like the strutting “Too Hard to Handle” and the last-call shuffle “Without You”.
As for the playing, if you’re looking for obnoxious showboating, better to haul that old Stevie Ray Vaughan vinyl out of the crawl space. Newman’s unflashy but solid work always comes down on the right side of tasteful, so close your eyes and cue up the title track and you’re transported to a honky-tonk somewhere deep in Tennessee—the kind of place where there’s sawdust on the floor, cigarette smoke hangs thick in the air, and no one has ever heard of those overamped phonies known as the Soledad Brothers.
Mike Usinger on Twitter at @mikeusinger.
Jill and her blues trio will perform a set of original blues on Friday June 20th from 2pm-3pm as part of the International Art Festival at Peace Arch Park.
Friday is all about live blues music from noon – 5pm.
For folks in Canada who don’t want to cross into the US, just park your car on the Canadian side and walk into the park without any need to go through the border.
For more info about the festival check out www.peacearchart.org.
The Cottage Bistro on Vancouver’s Main Street was the perfect venue for the Lovestruck Blues CD release on May 9th .
The evening featured guest performances from some of the talented folks who performed on the album including vocalists Michelle Baynton and Cecile Larochelle.
It was great to see so many old and new friends out at the show and a special thank you to all those who bought the new CD!
Thanks to Ken and Jill Peck from Dakota Creek Wineries for inviting me to perform on May 10th at their annual Springfest Art Tour and wine release event on mother’s day weekend. The Dakota Creek Winery is set on beautiful grounds just outside of Blaine, WA. It was a truly inspiring location for playing music, sampling the Jill’s blend wine and checking out the wares of some great local artists.