Danielle Allard at RBC Bluesfest

July 28th, 2016 by  |  Published in Concerts

Danielle Allard - RBC Bluesfest 2016-07-13 photo Scott Martin Visuals 1

On July 13th, the girl who began to perform at age three and sing at age nine, walked onto the RBC Bluesfest stage in the Barney Danson Theatre a confident professional woman – a songwriter, singer, and performer with two strong albums to her credit. Danielle Allard appeared in full body-paint as the avatar of her latest solo work, The Chameleon, to the audience’s resounding applause.

With possibly a little subtle humour, she opened with her song titled, Goodbye – a tune about ending one phase of life to begin another to “Take on the world” and “Play all your cards”, but with the wisdom of scars…

Love. Love what you do.
Love who you are.
Time will make light of all these little scars.

…which led into the impassioned Crown, which has a similar theme yet concerns more of the struggles involved when “They say that I should wear the crown” and how sometimes, though it can be overpowering “When my house of cards falls down”, the strength comes from within one’s self because “…I know that I should just keep on moving”.

Danielle Allard - RBC Bluesfest 2016-07-13 photo Scott Martin Visuals 2

Throughout the concert, the musicians accompanying Danielle – Sebastian Romanutti (keyboard), Dean Watson (bass), Jamie Holmes (drums), and Ed Lister (trumpet) infused their own styles into her compositions, enriching her song-smithing with solid foundation and embellishing various numbers with solos, such as Ed on Crown and Sebastian on the more upbeat third number, Watch the Sky.

Briefly introducing Shipwreck with personal reflections on simultaneously juggling being a student and having a full music career, she executed this quiet touching ballad which speaks of the aftermath of a relationship’s end – of being “Free of your hold on me… But I feel like a fool, a shipwreck on a barstool”. More than likely, this brought a tear to the eye of more than one person in the audience. In keeping with this ‘blue mood’, Danielle then rendered an intimate moving cover of Careless Whisper by George Michael on acoustic guitar in her own unequivocal vocal style.

The mark of an accomplished performer is the ability to transport the audience from one colour of emotion into another without breaking the magic of the performance. Danielle and the band flowed effortlessly through the next five songs, including the faster R&B jazz-tinged All Your Answers and bouncy Run (…with a fine trumpet solo by Ed) as well as Lullaby where, on the sidelines, a couple from the audience were quietly slow-dancing in the shadows – evidence of the affect Danielle’s songwriting has.

To close the show, two numbers were chosen – a fine bluesy rendition of Gimme One Reason by folk/blues/soul artist Tracy Chapman highlighted with solos by each member of the band, and the striding bright Little Demons that ended the concert (…and I will close this review) on a more positive upbeat note in contrast to its opening disposition with these hard-won words of wisdom from Danielle Allard

I have to live. One day at a time.
A time without a worry. I don’t want to worry.
I have to live. One day at a time.
Not just for my sanity…’cause…

Close my eyes and improvise.
All these funny little lies.

I can’t fight these demons anymore.
No, no, no.
I won’t fight these demons anymore.
No, no, no.

Danielle Allard - RBC Bluesfest 2016-07-13 photo Scott Martin Visuals 3

Danielle Allard > Website, SoundCloud, iTunes, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

All show photos: Scott Martin Visuals

Chameleon cover

Comments are closed.