When performers do it right, the audience is taken along on a voyage…through emotions and memories, through stories that we connect to in some way. I got that warm and loving feeling, care of the lovely Andrea House and her band. I was taken through tales of relationships old and new, memories of her changing prairie hometown, we were serenaded, we laughed, and we sang along. All this at the Edmonton Folk Festival’s 11am show of Andrea playing with long time cohorts Dana Wylie (voice, keyboard, guitar), Chris Smith (guitars), and Bob Blair (pedal steel).
I’m not sure if it is the intense gaze Andrea House gives the crowd, that seems to suck you in and keep you with her, or if it’s the little stories she tells between songs. One thing I am certain of is that her beautiful voice is like a songbird. Dana Wylie (who is a fantastic singer/songwriter in her own right) also has an exquisite voice. The harmonies that these two ladies create are truly heavenly. This was the first time that I had heard Dana Wylie playing keys live (these days she chooses the guitar over the piano for her own repertoire), and it was a soulful treat, especially when we got to hear one of her original tunes half way through the set.
Andrea House’s guitarist and husband, Chris Smith, lends a supportive role with his guitars, sometimes electric, sometimes acoustic, and always playing thoughtful and colourful solos and textures to compliment each song. From time to time he adds a beautiful low vocal harmony. Bob Blair’s pedal steel is an awesome touch of country that made the quartet complete. Every solo was like butter, every chord underneath the rest of the band blended just right.
If you haven’t seen Andrea House live, go and see her and her band…you won’t be disappointed.