I'm Just a Girl

Tonight I'm hopping on the motorbike for an evening ride into Toronto to see one of my favourite singers / jazz artists of all (present) time: Shannon Butcher perform at the Rex.  I first heard this vivacious, stunning woman crooning tunes with Swing Rosie, some number of years ago and I've been hooked ever since!  One of the most interesting performances I've ever experienced was at Yonge-Dundas Square where she shared the stage and her lyrics with a vibrant sign-language interpreter.

"Jazz isn’t about one label or style; it’s not about one person or time," says Butcher. "It’s about the freedom to bring together all of your experiences and sing in the moment using every aspect of your musical personality."

Shannon brings a new twist to jazz, if you can even call her music that.  Despite being a regular at the Rex, and on JazzFM I'd say she has a much broader appeal - with covers of pop tunes and some well crafted originals outnumbering the jazz standards in her repertoire.  Her influences seem to range from rock, swing and blues to country, pop and some groove, funk and soul .. yet all with an overtone of jazz that's refreshing not overbearing.  Her newer album Little Hearts has been very well recieved, and I expect to hear a number of songs from that one tonight but I still cherish and prefer the previous album: Words We Both Could Say .. maybe because it contains my favourite of her covers: a pop-jazzy version of No Doubt's "I'm Just a Girl".  I also can't wait to see her baby-bump as she's expecting soon and I'm told she's just glowing!

LATE EVENING UPDATE: great show! Shannon played I'm Just A Girl "for the girl who lives in trees" just as my good friend Ken McDonald showed up (another great Toronto jazz musician)  Other highlights: Shannon is now officially a rockstar .. what a truly fabulous night!  I'm going to bed this evening thoroughly joyous and still dancing :-)

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