Friday night we went down to the Pearl Company again, to see the Marigolds. Now the Marigolds, you may recall, is a trio of solo singers joined together to create some heavenly harmonies. Suzie Vinnick, Gwen Swick and Caitlin Hanford (in reverse alphabetical order) each have solo CDs for sale at the show, but a Marigolds' show is a night for groupwork.
Gwen Swick plays bass and sings in a rich voice that seems able to shift into any range. Her enunciation is precise and crisp, and her lyrics are filled with images that are at once obvious and surprising. It's like, "How clever! Why didn't I think of that?" "Anyone Can Dream" is the perfect example as she sings of the raft that dreamt of being Noah's ark! Brilliant! She lives in Elora, ON with Randall Coryell, who is an associate Marigold, being the drummer of the group.
Coryell is a king of percussion, and uses everything at hand, from the regular kit, to a long bolt holding washers and nuts to get the right sound. L:egend has it he even used his daughter's head to percussive effect!
Caitlin Hanford hails from Washington State, and brings the country inflection to the group. She plays a big ol' Gibson guitar, and writes songs about trains, and walking along the highway. Listen to "Ramble Down the Line" or "When I'm Walking With You" to get an idea. She's the tallest Marigold. Sometimes she tells little stories, like how she saw a cardinal outside the window and "just knew that Jacvkie Washington's spirit" had inhabited that bird. "Yes, indeedy!"
That leaves Suzie Vinnick, who plays lead guitar (she's got some chops!), and sings anything from blues to jazz to old standards. She can rock too, as you'll see if you listen to her solo CD. She also seems to be the business head of the group, doing the ads for the merch table, and carrying the little bag of change. Her songs show a tremendous range of styles and subject matter. Flying is one concern of Suzie's as "Trip To the Moon" and "Sometimes I Think I Can Fly" exhibit. And when she sings, you'll be sure she can fly!
Now that's the group, individually, but when they perform together, they become a separate entity...the Marigolds. And there's nothing like Marigolds' music to brighten a day, or night. In the warm and comfortable setting of the Pearl Company the feeling is like a living room concert, with a group of friends. Oh, wait a minute, I had invited about 16 people, so in fact it was a group of friends. There were another 20 or so folks in the audience, and I have to say, it's a bit disappointing. The Pearl brings in these remarkable musicians and they play to a half empty room, and yet every performer I've seen here has given their all to the group who turned out.
The Marigolds sang tunes from both their CDs, to the obvious delight of all who attended. They came back for an encore of Jackie DeShannon's "Put a Little Love In Your Heart" and then said "goodnight"...and what a good night it was.
Thanks Barbara and Gary for keeping the Pearl Company rolling. Thanks Gwen, Caitlin and Suzie (and Randall) for a great Friday night!