I first saw Annabelle perform in 2007 at the Ilfracombe Folk Festival, she was quite simply the best act I saw all weekend. A standout song for me was The Sioux (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJL5DnlhnD0&feature=related ), which on one level is a reportage song of a train journey she undertook in her native Canada, it describes her journey to the Sioux Lookout and the conversation she had with a young girl she met on the train. On another level it is an eloquent testimony of the impact of European colonisation on the indigenous people of the land we call Canada. Quite simply the song blew me away and after see finished her set I went to the record stall and bought all of her cds. (Here is her website http://www.annabelle.org/shows)
As you may have gathered Annabelle is amazing live, a multi-instrumentalist and a fine singer, I have never seen her give a poor performance and I have seen her on every tour of the UK since 2007.
As I drove away from Ilfracombe I listened to her cds and found many other songs as good as The Sioux. Another favourite of mine is A Piece of You, a simple love song that I never grow tired of listening to, it is a delight (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMBQ1ml4k1U ). I have wanted to write a post on Annabelle for some time and this series, which I have decided to call Tuesday’s Talent, seems the perfect place to do so.
Annabelle first fell in love with performing aged seven when she debuted with the Canadian Opera Company. Since then she has been involved with many types of music, as well as composing music for Drastic Action Dance (2008), she has toured Europe with her new media performance piece The Automated Prayer Machine, a collaboration with Anna Friz. She was also a member of The Wailing Jenny’s writing their most popular song The Devil’s Paintbrush Road, which she had recorded previously on an ep Burned My Ass. As a solo performer Annabelle has recorded five cds and you can buy them here (http://www.annabelle.org/disco).
At the moment Annabelle is working on her new album, she is raising the funds for studio time, musician’s wages and cd production from ordinary people like you and me. The album is going to be called Rise and mirrors the movement away from multinational corporate organisations to people doing it for themselves at a grass roots level. This is the website, please take the time to look at it and the incentives that Annabelle is offering if you donate your support (http://www.annabellemusic.com/fundraiser/).
I can’t end without mentioning a number of my favourite songs by Annabelle, Resilience is both an insanely catchy song, an amazing video and has some beautiful lyrics (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85lRD-0VzxA):
This crush in my body tastes of salt water and blood
The one who tugs the hardest, is the hardest to love
But that’s just it, it’s how it is
I’ll throw it if you catch it, I got lots more to give
Her version of Peter Tosh’s Equal Rights is excellent (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pr08KJ8qpJI). I’m going to stop there, I can feel that anorak, male, list making default setting getting the better of me. Do yourself a favour, go and listen to Annabelle and be part of the people who are supporting her to make her new album.