Banquet Room, Fri 19 Jun
An inspiring, emotional, joyful and uplifting experience. This performance by three superb singers is not to be missed. The SongBirds are Erica Canales, Gaby Moreno and Australian Danielle DeAndrea who found each other in the USA. Premiering in Adelaide after sold out shows in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sydney performing classics of popular music from the 1920s and ‘30s as well as interpreting music from later eras in the same style, their harmonies are out of this world including when they are scat singing in the jazz style of the ‘30s. They truly are sisters in the way their voices combine. Each vocalist showcases her voice but the best songs are when the harmonies soar and their creative talents fuse.
The name of the show comes from a song made famous by The Boswell Sisters called Shout Sister Shout, a call to sisters to stand up for themselves in face of danger. This is one of many old African American songs with blues and religious references. The opening numbers recall the 1920s with classics like Avalon and By The Light Of The Silvery Moon, both showcasing the Songbirds’ sweet, yet strong perfect harmonies.
We swing into a happy Caribbean segment led by Gaby Moreno from Guatemala with the old classics Guacamole and the infectious calypso beat of Rum And Coca-Cola. Gaby plays the ukulele and the guitarist Sam really comes into his own as a complement to the singing.
A most captivating part of the performance is the Australian section where The SongBirds showcase five songs, which feature on their newly released EP The Faraway Trees. These include the most beautiful versions you will ever hear of Peter Allen’s Tenterfield Saddler and Hunters and Collectors’ Throw Your Arms Around Me. The reimagining of these songs gives them a completely different feel and impact. Who would have thought that Olivia Newton-John’s Physical could be such a powerful and sexy song or that Little Ray Of Sunshine could be an anthem for loving fathers? The audience sang along to Cold Chisel’s Forever Now and gave these iconic songs a huge response. Their encore included the oldest popular blues song on record St Louis Blues and a powerful acoustic version of Let’s Go Down The River To Pray both clearly showing the foundations of their musical heritage.
One line in the song Shout Sister Shout says “If you want your soul set free, then come along and sing with me.” That is exactly what The SongBirds do. Singing is the most ancient form of music making and The SongBirds are keeping alive a history and style of singing that is pure joy to listen to and uplifting for the soul. You will leave on a high.
The SongBirds perform Shout Sister Shout at Banquet Room, Adelaide Festival Centre, at 1pm & 7pm until Sat 20 Jun.
Book at BASS on 131 246 and bass.net.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.
Image courtesy of Matt Sayles