I wasn’t prepared for how much I would enjoy this show.
It is difficult to describe the voice and sound of Meredith Shaw. To come up with comparisons would not do her justice; every possible comparison I come up with leaves something out. Meredith has a sound and a vibe that I could only recreate in a Petrie dish with the DNA of every artist I like, and that wouldn’t even work because I’m terribly unsciencetastic.
I had seen the official video for her song “Stars”; I was already impressed. To really appreciate Meredith’s talent, though, she needs to be heard in person.
I had the privilege of seeing her perform live tonight in Toronto, at one of the last NXNE 2012 shows. She started the set with introductions to her band: Kori on acoustic guitar and back-up singing/whistling, and Jenn on double bass. Her sense of humour emerged when she shared that, upon her arrival, the streets were filled with whoops and cheering, but alas, not for her: “Oh, Euro Cup,’ she said, shaking her head.
The unmercifully short set included songs from her album ‘Place Called Happy‘ – Stars, Little Fishy, Happy, and Acted Badly – and the added bonus of a duet with New Brunswick’s very talented Andy Brown.
‘Place Called Happy’, produced by friend and fan Gordie Johnson (Big Sugar, Grady – yes, that Gordie Johnson), was released in May 2011, and she has been a very busy lady since then – 50 dates on tour with Gordie, at the end of which she was performing with Wide Mouth Mason during their opening sets.
She also has a busy July before her. She is heading out west to perform at the Calgary Stampede, 6 days later in Hinton, AB at the Wild Mountain festival, then 6 days after that back home in Toronto.
I had a quick chat with Meredith (who, by the way is quite possibly one of the loveliest people ever), and she talked about her first two albums (her first was the self-titled and self-produced ‘Meredith Shaw’), and learning on the road. “It was such an experience, you know, it changes how you think about what you’ve done and what you want to do. My next album, I feel, will definitely be meatier.”
I told her that I felt her video did not do her voice justice, and I meant it. There is no comparison to how soulful her voice is live, and even I found myself tapping my foot and nodding my head to the beat; I tend to be a little singular about the type of music I listen to.
Every once in a while, an anomaly will occur to make me let something else in. This time, that anomaly is Meredith Shaw.
For more info, and to hear a few of her songs, go to www.meredithshaw.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @meredithshaw
See her videos on YouTube: MeredithShawMusic