Richelle Andre is joined by bassist Darryl Milne as she performs her CD release concert Saturday at Gate House Community Theatre in Port McNeill.

Andre claims new fans with release show

Port Hardy singer-songwriter plays CD release show at the Gate House Community Theatre.

A review by

J.R. Rardon

PORT McNEILL—It was billed as a concert to commemorate the release last month of her debut CD. But Richelle Andre’s concert at Gate House Community Theatre provided the small, yet vocal, audience a sneak preview of what will hopefully be a follow-up recording.

The Port Hardy singer-songwriter was clearly among friends — perhaps 40 or so — for her first local appearance since recording Claimer, a collection of nine original songs, in September at San Francisco’s Okey Doke Studio.

Those fans weren’t disappointed, as Andre and supporting musicians James Lambert and Darryl Milne performed each of the nine numbers — and a new track, Blue Mountains, which was inspired by her recent recording trip to the States.

If the evening had a flaw, besides the low turnout, it was the dim lighting that left the performers largely in shadow. The theatre is run by a non-profit society and its technical staff was not available to operate the ceiling-mounted spotlights. As the lights have previously been subject to tripping electrical breakers, they were left off to ensure the music was not interrupted over the course of the evening.

The dim conditions provided a challenge for North Island videographer Rob Marty of Frog House Productions, who was on hand with his camera and a large boom to record promotional video for Andre.

Fortunately, there were no issues with the sound. The only hiccups came courtesy of Andre’s occasional eclectic songwriting, as she occasionally was required to re-start songs that varied in time signatures and guitar tuning. Those brief interludes were quickly forgotten when she and her trio launched into the songs from her alt-folk catalogue, from the country-tinged Wild West, Odd Romance and Phantom Love — “It’s a spaghetti western,” she said by way of introduction — to the blues of Give Me Space, to the soft-rock stylings of the lyrically arresting Claimer, Band of Thieves and Hotel Jesus.

The pièce de résistance was the ethereal Violet Sea, a song Andre had never performed in public and which producer Philip Milner insisted she record on Claimer. Her new bandmates also insisted she perform it on her current tour, which kicked off last month in Saskatchewan and which continues this weekend at The Soundgarden in Coombs.

Claimer was recorded with the assistance of several Bay Area musicians, who added vocals, guitar, bass, banjo, harmonica and pedal steel guitar. On Saturday, Andre got help replicating that sound from Milne, on electric bass, and from Lambert, a multi-instrumentalist who contributed acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, harmonica, vocals and occasional cheesy jokes.

The show was opened by fellow singer-songwriter Erin Junkala, a recent transplant from Ontario who now lives in Coal Harbour. Junkala, who has been signed to perform as the opening act for John Wort Hannam in the North Island Concert Society’s Apr. 12, 2014, performed a solo acoustic set made up of both original and cover songs. The NICS audience is in for a treat from this performer, who did a nifty job of morphing from a sweet balladeer to a down-and-dirty blues belter over the course of her half-hour set Saturday.

More information on Richelle Andre, and purchase of Claimer, is available at www.richelleandre.com.

 

Just Posted

Town of Port McNeill’s financial statements are in, and the numbers might surprise you

One resident asked why CIBC bank charges (Fiscal Expense) were $15,000 higher than the previous year

OPINION: A Kayaker’s Paradise with no Kayaks

A kayak rental would greatly bolster tourism in Port Alice.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: A bird and some otters

Here’s two pictures I took while out in my skiff just cruising around the inlet enjoying the weather.

B.C. salmon farm inspection deal reached with Indigenous people

Monitoring to determine if any Broughton region farms stay open

Union says mediated negotiation with WFP has been ‘disappointing’

Striking forestry workers have been on picket lines since Canada Day

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Most Read