Sunday, March 18, 2018, Carmanah, a band based out of Victoria, British Columbia, performed in Kingsville. They shared their “West Coast Soul” with 20 people for two-plus hours.
Carmanah has been together for six years, but the current configuration of the band includes Laura Mitic (lead vocals, guitar and fiddle); Pat Ferguson (lead guitar and back-up vocals); Michael Baker (keyboard, guitar and back-up vocals); Marek Olsen (bass guitar and back-up vocals); and Nick Laba (drums).
The band played two sets and started out the whole thing with a bluesy number. This led to more smooth vocals by Laura Mitic, creating a great vibe in the house, while the band’s fusion sound melded behind her pipes.
The songs in their first set were about romance and old growth forests with a couple of spirited tunes and a Fleetwood Mac cover of “Gold Dust Woman” thrown in. This Fleetwood Mac fan was satisfied. Mitic was an ace on the fiddle, playing the tune “Fiddle Jam” and another thigh slapping, heel kicking number the “Hippy-Hip-Hop Song.”
The band opened the second set with the Led Zeppelin classic “Going to California”. They followed with “Crying,” an original composition inspired by Roy Orbison. They then shared the song “Waterfalling” from their recently released music video.
A meditative piece left us all relaxed when they suddenly decided to pick up the beat with “Get It Together” and “Roots.” These both had good hooks and nice backbeats. They finished their performance with an excellent encore, the Nancy Sinatra tune “Bang-Bang.”
Laura Mitic is a little like an indie, bluesy-folk version of Holly Cole. When asked who inspired her musically she replies Leslie Feist, Canadian indie-pop singer-songwriter and another Canadian singer, Bahamas.
Carmanah wrap up their 11-show Canadian tour at the Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver on March 24.
Windsor-Essex residents should keep an eye out for Mary and Marty’s house concerts on Facebook events. This intimate venue, a little house tucked away in Essex County, showcases renowned and up-and-coming folk, ethnic, world beat, bluegrass and blues musicians. I have frequented their house concerts for years and have never been disappointed.