James Hill and Anne Janelle, The Eisenhauers, and Isabelle Houghton
PG Playhouse, 7:30 pm
Tickets $30 + GST & service fees
Available online or from Studio 2880 and Books & Company
James Hill and Anne Janelle
Four strings and a favourite chocolate bar: that’s all James Hill (possibly the best ukulele player in the world) and Anne Janelle (a cellist of true beauty) had in common when they first met. It was more than enough. Today, they’re an award-winning, “utterly world-class” singer-songwriter-ukulele-cello duo (Paul Symes, The Blacksheep Inn). James grew up playing folk, jazz and blues on his ukulele while Anne was exclusively a classical cellist. But the pair’s differences quickly became their biggest asset. The uke is high, the cello is low; the uke plays short notes, the cello long bow strokes; the uke is all about strumming while the cello radiates melody. Like shadows and light in an old photograph, these contrasts are complementary. “We’re like a pair of dancers who can’t step on each other’s feet,” jokes James.
It has been said that all Canadian writing inevitably reflects the almost impenetrable vastness of the land and the great distances that separate us. If ‘The Road We Once Knew’ by the Eisenhauers, the husband and wife duo of Jeremy Eisenhauer and Sheree Plett Eisenhauer, is any indication, you’d be hard pressed not to come to the same conclusion about Canadian music. Simple, spare and heartbreaking in its directness, the concepts of distance, time and the wavering arcs of separation and reunion have rarely been as compellingly explored as they are in this powerful debut album. With its songs of loss, faith and the gratitude of renewal, ‘The Road We Once Knew’ is the perfect soundtrack for real people trying to live authentic lives. Beautifully played, sung and executed, it is a testament to the healing power of music and the value of wisdom gained from experience. The ‘Road We Once Knew’ is true soul music. Every word and note on it rings true.
Isabelle is the first place winner of the Limelight Quest 2017. She is a wonderful young performer with a pure and honest style. She hopes to inspire young people like herself to be brave and display their musical talents. Isabelle also plays ukulele and guitar, and has a delightful support network helping her along this journey.