Jenn Grant playing to the hometown crowd puts the kind of energy in the room that musicians wish they could bottle.
After a fairly quiet summer, Grant is busy this fall with two tours — the current tour with Ottawa’s Jim Bryson, as well as a cross-Canada tour with Ron Sexsmith running through October. While opening for Ron Sexsmith will be a special tour, we recommend catching the bill we saw last night.
Jim Bryson was more than an opener. With his charming tales and beautiful melodies he had the crowd in the palm of his hand. Bryson has proven his mettle behind the scenes in Canadian music, working with many acts, most notably Kathleen Edwards (they both call Ottawa home, and her song “I Make the Dough, You Get the Glory” is written about him), but he is perhaps not as well known to audiences at large. He did gain some notoriety from a project last December where he and friends recorded a Christmas album in one day to raise money for Ottawa-area charities. For an intro, listen to “Anything and All” here.
For Grant’s set, she was joined by a band of friends, including Bryson, along with several special guests. At various points in the set, she was joined on stage by Don Browrigg, Tanya Davis, Rose Cousins, and Heather Green. A highlight among the highlights was when Tanya Davis took the mic in the middle of “Dreamer” for a spoken word love poem that was poignant and leant a new angle to a well-known song.
We also got a sample of the mysterious new supergroup Grant will play with at Halifax Pop Explosion: Aqua Alta. Charles Austin, of Aqua Alta and Super Friendz, joined her to play two of the new songs. Aqua Alta will play at the same venue during Pop Explosion.
Bryson and Grant have beautiful chemistry on stage and give and take easily. This show is special and not to be missed. Saturday was the third stop on the Bryson/Grant tour. Over the next month, the pair will tour through the maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
Photos: Evelyn Hornbeck, bottom photo via Rose Cousins Instagram