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Vincent's Chair are the real deal


It’s almost become a cliché, but it seems a shame that wonderful musicians like Vincent’s Chair continue to fly under most people’s radar while cookie-cutter singers gain overnight fame through the dubious agency of reality television.

Vincent’s Chair are the real deal – wonderful local musicians playing all-original, beautifully crafted songs.

At their second appearance at the Hoot! Jazz Festival, they attracted a strong crowd to the Festival Club – a neat transformation of the old Mt Barker town hall in Gawler Street. The club operates cabaret-style, with tables and chairs, and a bar.

Kathie Renner is the heartbeat of the band, writing the songs, singing, and playing piano and guitar.

The music is all her own – often tinged with her gentle sense of humour – but it has impeccable musical heritage.

How to describe the pop/folk/jazz sounds that Renner produces? It’s like Joni Mitchell, Burt Bacharach and Jimmy Webb collaborated – and wouldn’t you love to hear that? (The band has done a regular Joni Mitchell tribute show, most recently at Fringe and previously at the Cabaret Festival.)

Renner has a wonderful, pure voice, but it’s also versatile. This set included a torch song, “It’s Time”, written for expat Adelaide jazz singer Anita Wardell, which sounds like a standard straight out of the 1940s, but there was also Middle Eastern-inflected pop, a folk ballad, light Latin-rhythm tunes and numerous others that defy categorisation.

Against the spirit of the age, the music is restrained and elegant; the lyrics intimate, personal and meaningful.

It’s a tight little group, with violist Karen De Nardi and guitarist Sam Leske providing a beautiful counterpoint to Renner’s musical questions, and percussionist Holly Thomas keeping the show moving along.

Vincent’s Chair recently toured Europe, and have a new CD, It’s Time. Strike a blow for hard-working, talented local musicians and buy the CD on iTunes or from their website.

More Hoot! Jazz Festival reviews:

James Carter Organ Trio

David Helbock Trio

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