I just managed to catch the last performance by vocalist Miss Renee Simone, and I was glad that I did. She is another of the fine group of artists from Byron Bay who are performing at Ensalada during the Fringe.
Born in England, and with a Jamaican heritage, her music exhibits many influences other than Carribean music. Apart from reggae rhythms, jazz and blues influences are clear, and these can be attributed to her love of the music of great singers of the 1930s and 40s, such as Josephine Baker and Billie Holiday. She is also influenced by the work of many contemporary artists, and injects her music with a good dose of soul as well.
Her backing band, of course, had a very good percussionist who kept a Latin beat running through the numbers, as well as a great guitarist and an excellent multi-instrumentalist who can really do wonders with a soprano saxophone. Miss Renee Simone adds further colour to the orchestrations on her ukulele, an instrument that has proved incredibly popular lately.
It is her remarkable voice, though, that captivates the audience, with her unique way of expressing the meaning of each number, and her versatility in embracing a wide range of material. Her voice is a joy to listen to as she turns every number into a piece that is all her own, even standards, and songs from groups like The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Some might that say she greatly improves them, and I would not argue with that. It is only to be hoped that, now that she and the others from Byron Bay have discovered Adelaide, they become regular visitors.
Her debut album, Roar, is available, and can now be purchased for downloading from her web site.
Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Arts Editor, Glam Adelaide.
Venue: Ensalada, Rymill Park
Duration: 60 mins