Jumping Hot Club
Friday 15th June 2017.
For a man who only three years ago went to at least two gigs a week ( 7 in 10 days once!) tonight was only my fourth gig of the year, so quite a big deal.
As is my won’t these days I quietly made my way into the Cluny basement as the applause was dying down for the first song from ‘The Geordie Dusty’…..’Little Mo’ Scott.
I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen Mo over the years and tonight she was making her annual visit to the JHC; and with hindsight was the perfect foil for headline act Chastity Brown.
Mo regaled us with her inimitable versions of Ry Cooder’s Borderline, Norah Jones’ Lonestar and a gorgeously sleazy rendition of Love Me Like a Man; a hit for Bonnie Raitt but written by JHC favourite Chris Smither.
These songs (and others) were interspersed with self-depreciating jokes about age, eyesight and memory; much to the ‘mature’ audience’s obvious delight.
As the set came to an end, there were cries for “more” from the crowd and after a very quick con-flab between Shippy the Promoter and Geoff the MC Mo was told she had time for one more song. Surprised, she had a chat with her guitarist and multi-instrumentalist drummer they decided on the beautiful I Cry Myself To Sleep; and this crazy world seemed a slightly better place.
After a very short break I nearly missed Chastity Brown’s sultry opening song After You from the magnificent Back-road Highways.
The singer, looking a vision in white (inc. a white bow-tie) was on fine form from the start, greeting friends in the audience as she introduced the second song Colorado, explaining why it had taken her four years to follow up the previous album….”I’m from Tennessee; we do thing real slow there.” She smiled and shrugged her shoulders.
The next hour and a half was packed with a mix of songs from both albums, including a really passionate delivery of If You Let Me and the sweeping landscapes of Drive Slow on album now sounding tightly wrapped and almost claustrophobic.
I can’t go any further without mentioning guitarist Luke Enyeart who provided heartbreaking accompaniment on his Bigsby enhanced emerald green Gretsch guitar.
Highlights are nearly too many to mention; but a song dedicated to her Mother back home in Tennessee featured the Cluny Evangelical Choir on harmonies and a new song, played solo called I Ask For Nothing really, really showcased her extraordinary voice.
The show came to an all too brief closure with her beautiful interpretation of the Nina Simone song Baltimore which tugged at the combined heartstrings of the audience.
One more thing; Chastity took the time half way through to thank Promoter Graeme Anderson for “taking a chance on her four years ago, when she randomly sent him an e-mail alongside 20 others in the UK asking for a gig.” Only Shippy and a guy in London responded (I was at that gig and suitably star-struck immediately) and ……the rest is history.