Kathy Frank: Blues Through The Ages
Date and Venue 27 July @ 830pm | Columbia Theatre, New Westminster
Featured Performers Kathy Frank - Vocals / Terry Gage - Lead Guitar / James Shepherd - Guitar / David Gales - Guitar, Harp / Jenna Earle - Slide Guitar, Vocals / Graham Scott - Bass / Jade Derrett - Drums / Clayton Brown - Harp / Gunther Klaus - Sax /.Howard Greenstein - Keys
An enthusiastic crowd cheered and went wild dancing during this one-night concert of Kathy Frank who sang the Blues through the ages, from the Acoustic Era (1860-1940) through to the Electric Set (1940-2013), when the electric guitar was first played by Muddy Waters in 1942.
This was a concert indeed, cabaret-style, as we dined and drank and danced the blues away, led by the charismatic Kathy Frank and her fantastic band. As the history of the Blues was narrated, slides of the different Blues singers were projected on a backdrop screen, and Frank sang. What went through my mind was this is the way to teach the history of the Blues--narrating, projecting, and singing--a multimedia affair.
The only flaw I noticed was the slides weren't corresponding to the narration. Frank herself made a joke of it as she was looking at the screen and waiting for the right slides to be projected. I also couldn't read some of the info on the slides because they were at the bottom of the screen and the band was in the way. But other than that, this was a dynamic show. We were all given Spanish fans before entering the theatre and when I asked why, I was told, "It's going to be a hot show". And it was hot indeed, both literally and figuratively, as Frank kept fanning herself throughout.
This was not only educational, as we learned about the lives of the different Blues singers, but astoundingly entertaining as well. Frank sang classics from the Acoustic Era such as "Wade in the Water", "Lawdy, Lawdy, Lawdy", "Sweet Home Chicago", and in the second half of the concert, "I Am the Blues", "Hound Dog" (which Elvis Presley popularized three years after it was first sung by Big Mama Thornton in 1952), and "Give It Up Daddy" which is in Frank's new album Reclaim Your Soul to be released in 2014.
Frank was in tears at the end of her three-hour concert thanking her friends, family and audience for coming and sharing the Blues with her.
© 2013 Ed Farolan