Old World Charm with The Billie Hollies
I'm always on the lookout for new music, especially anything with a hint of folk. During a conversation with singer/songwriter Donna Orchard, I was invited to check out her band, the Billie Hollies, at the Rivoli on Thursday night. The show was a mix of contemporary and classical influences, and that good kind of folk I always rave about.
The Billie Hollies are Coralie Martens (piano, vocals, French horn), Julia Hambleton (clarinet, bass clarinet, vocals), Janet Morassutti (guitar, vocals), and Donna (lead vocals, autoharp). Toronto-based, and still relatively new, they're currently working on a full length album, tentatively to be released before the end of 2009. (Girls, let me know when it's out and where I can get it, because I WANT IT.)
The band's sound is eclectic and quirky - Donna's voice at times reaches operatic heights, which lends both innovation and charm to the music. Their vibe is hard to pin down exactly, but it's got an almost vintage feel to it. That autoharp, (I had to google it to figure out what the heck it was), is now on the list of the many instruments I need to learn how to play.
The back room of the Rivoli was the perfect place to experience their live show: the venue is dark and intimate - the type of place where you're likely to knock knees with your neighbor.
The Billie Hollies have another Toronto gig coming up at the Gladstone on June 15th, so put on your best summer dress and get out to the west end next month.
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