Tell Mama: The Music of Etta James
The West Australian Idolize Spiegeltent
Wednesday, February 20
REVIEW: JAKE DENNIS
When the line for a Fringe show stretches from the entry of Perth's Urban Orchard to the Spiegeltent you know expectations for the show are high.
Ten-piece band Stratosfunk's 90-minute tribute to the late Etta James meets expectations without pushing the boundaries and surpassing them.
Cursory biographical annotations slotted between songs add little to our knowledge of James although frontwoman Yara Neto's admiration for the singer is clear.
Tell Mama: The Music of Etta James showcases the American songstress' range of musical sweet spots: gospel, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, blues, and soul.
It features talented Perth musicians like multi-instrumentalist Daniel Greening, drummer Dom D'Leno, saxophonist Mark Turner, and singers Amy Rosato, and Jessie Gordon who raised the bar with their spectacular Fringe show Swing Revue earlier this month.
The well-supported young guns on stage, like guitarist Jon Matthews whose stratospheric solo on In the Basement is a tour de force, are destined for a permanent place in Perth's musical scene.
On a stage populated by suited men and women in glittery dresses special guest Rusty Pinto whose warm vocal timbre is as soft as his newsboy cap looks slightly out of place in his baggy pants and loose shirt.
In contrast, saxophonist Robbie Bresland whose cheeks balloon like blown glass is a fitting visual knock-out.
The show's climax, the song we are all waiting to hear, is performed soulfully by Neto right after the show's funkiest number Fire which sets the Spiegeltent musically alight.
Neto's stunning rendition of the often sampled Something's Got a Hold on Me, which Flo Rider fans will recognise, brings the audience to its feet.
All things considered, a commanding and musically inspiring show which is sure to satisfy audiences as Fringe draws to a close.Tell Mama: The Music of Etta James runs until 23 February and is part of Fringe World 2013. Tickets are available from fringeworld.com.au.
#mamluftcodance on the cover of #citybeats for #cincinnati #fringefestival come see us perform "Maps"!!! http://t.co/mqX37uwNqf
@jcwestberry tomorrow night ill be rocking w/ @rubox & @thetitomendoza at the #FringeFestival http://t.co/xZeO4SH5gJ
RT @ShakesInAction: @whostheatre Thanks for the shout out! Congratulations and break a leg at the #FringeFestival this #summer!
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