Live: house concert, Westhill/Glenbuchat Hall

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Live: house concert, Westhill/Glenbuchat Hall
10/11 March 2017

It’s been three years since Bronwynne Brent’s Stardust beguiled and delighted critics and fans, and despite having visited the UK since, the 2017 tour was the first time that listeners in northern Scotland have had the opportunity to witness her live show.

Bronwynne is a Mississippian, and Delta imagery, often near-Gothic in its expression, constantly informs her deeply personal, but universally-resonant lyrics. Ghosts, mirrors, shallow graves and “rusted pennies in the wishing well” are among her references, as she ignores constraining genre boundaries and deploys whatever chord voicing her song demands. Bronwynne goes her own way though, and her artistic, dramatic imagination enables her to take influence from Plato in ‘Love Like A Web’ and the feats of skydiver Felix Baumgartner to explore whether or not there is a universal language of love which traverses human-constructed boundaries in ‘Another World’. She explains too, though, in her song introductions that she invests personal experience in her writing, and if she’s not always sure of the individual message of some songs, like ‘The Mirror’, she can pin down exactly the influence of a dog’s death in ‘Dark Highway’ although her blues pianist sister Eden, believes it’s about a conversation between their parents!

When she pointedly references both jazz and 1940s radio in introducing the Mann/Evans standard ‘No Moon At All’ and jokes that she has ambitions to be a lounge singer, she may not realise that everything is in place for such a move should she want it. At Westhill, someone remarked on Bronwynne’s vocal and stylistic similarities to Amy Winehouse, the following evening, a buyer at the merchandise table commented on a likeness to Melanie Safka, an illustration of the effortless diversity of her material and interpretation.

Throughout it all, her own dextrous guitar-picking and rhythmic strumming provide ideal foundations to her emotional vocal delivery, but this is enhanced beautifully and sympathetically by Stardust producer Johnny Sangster. In discussing the sound she imagined for her 2014 album, she felt that it should have the feel of a spaghetti western soundtrack, with a sense of expansive spaciousness. Sangster’s production nailed that perfectly, and the intuitive lower register twang, and rhythmic promptings he provided live, added incalculably to each song and the overall ambience of the show.

And, endearingly, both Bronwynne and Johnny come across as genuinely good people, dedicated to their craft, appreciative of the applause and praise, and humble in their outlook.

They have won new friends and should not hesitate to visit us again.

Further tour dates (don't miss this if at all possible):

Sun March 12: Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine

Tues March 14: Cwtch Music Venue, Pembroke Dock

Wed March 15:The Drovers Arms, Puncheston, Haverfordwest

Thurs March 16: Ritz Acoustic Club, Burnham-on-Sea

Fri March 17: Roots Music Club, Doncaster

Sat March 18: St Mary's Parish Hall, Beverley, Yorkshire

Sun March 19: The Pump House, Louth, Lincs

Tues March 21: The Forge, Anvil Arts, Basingstoke

Wed March 22: Old Ship Inn, Main Street, Lowdham, Notts

Thurs March 23: The Green Note, London

Fri March 24: Whitstable Sessions, Royal Native Oyster Stores, Whitstable

Sat March 25: Kingsmead House Concert

Sun March 26: Top Secret Blues Festival, Scarborough
Date added: Mar 12, 2017

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