NEXT STAGE #6 April 22 2005

Yukon Women Do It Best
Open Letter To The Gals

If you have never had the occasion to see one of the Yukon Women in Music’s presentations you are missing an integral part of the Yukon music scene. The YWIM regularly stage shows in local venues that highlight songwriters and musicians known and soon to be known.

Last Saturday I was privileged to witness the performances of three of TheYukon’s finest, on stage at The Backwater Lounge.

I got to the venue a bit late but was able to see most of Heather Loewens set.
Loewens alternated between acoustic and electric guitar as the song required. Other that one cover tune she played exclusively original compositions. Her lyrics, heartfelt and often witty were sung with a clear honest voice.

One of her songs, “Black Widow Death Drive” was particularly amusing. It’s the kind of song that I wish I could have on a personal jukebox to play over and over.

Next on the stage was Kate Weekes. With songs that tell a story, this balladeer sings and plays guitar with conviction.

Though she has a strong voice, it contains an airy quality that hints at an underlying vulnerability. Her songs are strong on story and peppered with just enough lyrical hooks to tickle my ears. Musically I heard references to classic 60’s folk, 1930’s or 40’s popular styles and straight ahead rock mixed together.
I really enjoyed her set and look forward to hearing her again.

It never crossed my mind until Lara Lewis got behind her keyboard that most of the acts I’ve seen and reviewed have been guitar acts.

With a firm posture and a big smile on her face, Lewis showed that guitars are not the only game in town. Her repertoire included a stylistic mix of jazz, pop, blues, and even a saloon styling with her rendition of Tom Waits,” Dirt In The Ground”.

During her set she broke into an improvised version of name that tune with members of the audience.

It takes a lot of guts to perform originals in front of complete strangers who are out looking for a night of entertainment. What this evening showed me was a willingness of the audience to suspend judgement while letting the performer get on with her job and perform. The result is a vibrant scene that can only get better time goes on.

I would like to propose to the Yukon Women In Music, collectively of course, that they get together and organise a web page that could promote their good work to the world. Biographies of members and visiting artists could be posted, events could be promoted, and music could be made available for download, with artist’s permission of course.

This technology is not that exotic or expensive anymore. In the Yukon there is plenty of homegrown talent that would, and I believe should, get behind this idea.

The Yukon Women In Music has proven itself in live events and recorded music. I believe that a web presence would only serve to highlight the good work this community heartbeat does and showcase new talent to us in The Yukon and them in the outside world.