CFN – On Saturday night another season of excellent acoustic music began at the St. Lawrence Stage. It was standing room only because the headline act was none other than multiple Juno award winner Serena Ryder.
Actually this was the first sold out concert for the stage. I know that I was excited to see this very talented performer having seen her perform on Elvis Costello’s program Spectacle.
If you listen to any of the Seaway.com radio programs that I happen host, I always play at least one song of Serena’s. I call her Serena now because I feel close to her, having been seated a mere 10 to 15 yards from her when she was performing.
The opening act for Serena was Matt Longo. Matt arrived at the last minute from New York and seemed a little out of breath when he took the stage.
A little banter and he was soon into his songs performing them flawlessly (at least as far as I could tell) and confidently.
To quote descriptions from the night’s program, “Matt Longo gives singer-songwriters a good name…” and “Wonderfully angelic vocals that leap hither and thither, some sweet melodies and an uplifting air.”
Now I would have never come up with “hither and thither” and that’s why I quote the program. What I did notice was that if you listened to the lyrics you would notice some bitterness coming through, and that made the songs very interesting.
When Serena took the stage it was like someone had just started a nuclear reactor. The energy in her voice was so overpowering I almost forgot to turn on my camera. I could copy the list of her accomplishments but it covers two pages of the program.
Let’s just say that she is well on her way to being one of the great Canadian artists of our time. Most of the show she performed her own great distinctive compositions but she also did a couple of jazz/blues standards a cappella that left the audience stunned with the power and quality of her voice. Between songs her stage presence was charming, funny and engaging. This was a performance that I will gauge all others by from now on.
It was a great start to the season and I for one am looking forward to the rest of it. For information on the rest of the season you can go to the web site and see the schedule.