Tag Archives: Jim Barber

Sass Jordan Revisits Her Triumph Twenty-five Years Later

When Sass Jordan appears at Heartwood tonight it will be something more than just another concert.  She is touring as part of a celebration of an important milestone in her career, which she has found a way to re-create.

Twenty-five years ago her album “Racine” peaked at #2 on the Billboard charts with a style of swaggering rock that reflected the times and raw vocals that paved the way for artists like Allanah Myles and Amanda Marshall.  Now she has set the wayback machine to that moment again and brought it full circle by re-recording the entire album.  Touring to support the new/old album gives her a chance to reminisce with fans and rekindle some of that old magic. Billing it as “intimate and interactive”, she will engage the audience with stories between the songs and even take questions from the stage. The idea is to rekindle special memories for her fans.

Rather than create the re-creation with all of the technological tools that are available today, she respected the original enough to take an authentic approach.  She assembled a team of respected musicians and created a family atmosphere in a Calgary studio to “add additional depth and historical accuracy”.    It was a real band playing real music: Rudy Sarzo on bass, Brent Fitz on drums and percussion, Chris Caddell on guitars and Derek Sharp on guitars, keyboards and production.

“What you hear is what happened,” she says proudly, “no click tracks and no auto-tune. This record was made with great care and precision in order to be played LOUD and PROUD!!!!”

Bring An Open Heart To The Andrea Ramolo Concert

Andrea Ramolo will be coming to Owen Sound next weekend for two purposes.  On Saturday night, April 1st, she will be playing at Heartwood Concert Hall to promote her latest album, “Nuda”, on a double bill with Jenie Thai.  The following day, on Sunday afternoon, she will be hosting the latest in the Music Biz Tune Up series that’s been put together by Summerfolk to provide music business advice to local musicians.

The music of Andrea Ramolo, particularly on this latest release, is exceptionally personal and intimate.  She allows herself to explore openly the most vulnerable aspects of her life through her art.  As she has said in a press release, “It was written during an exceptionally dark time where I was painfully shedding pieces of who I thought I was — as an artist, as a lover, as a woman. I wanted the project to unabashedly expose that process; that battle with ego and identification in an attempt to just be, to reveal all my cuts and bruises in this process of becoming.”

Jim Barber, in Music Life Magazine, called the album “a compelling, emotional and truly powerful statement by an artist unafraid to confront her own pain.”  It was produced by The Cowboy Junkies’ Michael Timmins, who has provided her with the same understated and subtle sonic environment that contributed so much to the success of that band.

The extreme vulnerability of her work raises the question of how it will play in Heartwood.  This is a great venue with excellent sound and good sight lines but audiences there have been criticized in the past for talking loudly through performances.  Will the audience on Friday night show enough respect for the artist to allow a full appreciation of what she is offering?

Andrea has been performing since 2003, originally as a dancer and has collaborated with Tom Wilson, a great admirer of Canadian talent, and shared the stage with sensitive performers like Gordon Lightfoot, Ron Sexsmith and Adam Cohen. In 2004, Andrea was cast in Disney’s made-for-TV movie Once Upon a Mattress, starring Carol Burnett and Tracy Ullman. She toured for more than five years with Cindy Doire as the duo Scarlett Jane, releasing two albums to add to the two solo albums she had aleady put out.

On Saturday night she will be sharing the stage with Jenie Thai, another exceptional artist whose command of the keyboard, expressive vocals and heartfelt, blues-based original songs are sure to command the attention of the audience.

When she meets on Sunday with local musicians, Andrea will be talking about the process of getting gigs, and working with a manager.  She will offer advice about finding opportunities, communicating with venues, and arranging performances. She’ll also answer questions about managers, why artists higher them, and when it makes sense to.  Live performance is usually the main source of revenue for most musicians and her advice is bound to be valuable.

The Music Biz Tune Up will run from 1-3pm on April 2nd at the Suite Spots on 2nd avenue in Owen Sound. Registration is $20 but participants who register for the entire 7-part series will receive a 25% discount. Participating musicians can register online at www.summerfolk.org/musicbiztuneup or at the door.

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