"Ladies Blues…" is a great perspective of the blues and blues music business from women’s point of view. It appears Bravo! may have altered the shows original intended order but it still prevails. The opening segment is a profile of Canadian blues musician, Rita Chiarelli. This daughter of Italian immigrants always wanted to be a singer. She likes "forceful expression" and since the "blues is about being real", it seemed an ideal genre to reveal herself. Interview clips are fused with live footage of 2 of her most powerful songs: "I Could Change For You" and "Woman In Blue". On these gritty tunes, Chiarelli passionately expresses herself. She is definitely at home on the stage. In the interview portion, she also appears comfortable expressing herself via conversation.
The middle part of the show carries the theme "the ladies sing the blues". Here, Ann Rabson, Gaye Adegbalola, Andra Faye, Sue Foley and Marcia Ball appear in a series of brief interview clips. They list both advantages and disadvantages of existing in a male dominated musical artform. On the positive side: "it is much better to be an oddity and rarity in this business"; "the press is much more interested in us"; "give voice to things men can’t sing about"; "guys have the same problems with sound technicians". On the down side: "reviewers talk about our age, describe what we are wearing and state that we sing sexual material"; "you run into attitudes with the sound people". Overall, "everybody has to prove themselves …a woman doesn’t have to do it anymore than a man".
The final segment deals with Ann Rabson of Saffire The Uppity Blues Band. She is interviewed, all too appropriately, at her piano. Bitten by the blues bug at age 4, Ann is a talented singer/songwriter/piano player and guitar player. The blues exudes from this woman’s mouth and fingers. She believes there is a "mutual love and respect amongst blues players" and "all good music is about things that are universal to people". Surprisingly, it was unintentional for Saffire to be an all-female band. Prior to her days with Saffire, a woman used to come and hear Ann regularly play. For 3 years the woman hounded Ann to give her guitar lessons. Finally Ann gave in. The woman was a great singer/songwriter and before long they were gigging together. Later they got together with another woman who played bass and they became known as Saffire. Ann is happy when she hears the next generation tell her that her band has "paved the way for them" and "I want to play piano". She is also happy "as long as I’m playing". This is a general theme that is heard time and time throughout this series. They may not be rich or live the lifestyle of the famous but the vast majority of blues artists are happy.
Look for reviews of the remaining 2 episodes to be added over the next few weeks.
For further information, contact: www.talkinblues.com
"TaLkin' bLuEs" TV Series - Episode 5
"TaLkin' bLuEs" TV Series - Episode 3
"TaLkin' bLuEs" TV Series - Episode 2
"TaLkin' bLuEs" TV Series - Episode 1
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