A music journey charting women’s role in the progression of the blues, with four Irish women of the blues accompanied by a cracking live blues band
It was Valentine’s day 1920 when Mamie Smith stepped up to the microphone in The Okeh Company in New York and shouted out “That Thing Called Love”, making the first recording of a black female vocalist! It led to a second recording which sold 75000 copies in its first month of release and although it wasn’t a classic blues recording it opened the door to a generation of “Classic Blues” vocalists.
Through that door came Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ida Cox, Alberta Hunter and many more transforming the blues from local folk music into the art form it is today. These blues women brought black culture into the American main stream. These women are the ‘Classic Women’ of the blues and have made a significant contribution to the development of jazz and blues in popular music. As the recording industry developed, male country blues singers were discovered, but it was the ladies who kick started it all!
In ‘Ladies in the Blues’ we pay tribute to these women, singing such songs as CC Ryder, St James Infirmary, Black Coffee Blues, I Put a Spell on You, Bring it on Home to Me, Ball and Chain, Piece of My Heart, Feelin’ Good, Little Red Rooster, I’d Rather Go Blind, Ain’t Nobody’s Business and many more.
Flo McSweeney of Moving Hearts fame; guitar playing Clara Rose, Ireland’s songstress of rockin’ blues; Wicklow singer, Emma Nicolai and Dun Laoghaire Queen of Vaudeville, Jhil Quinn on washboard and vocals are joined by legendary, Ed Deane on guitar and James Delaney on keys.
‘Highlight of the weekend was LADIES IN THE BLUES, a spectacular stage production, featuring four female singers and a cracking band of blues’ sidemen...’Dermott Hayes