Prairie songstress and Regina’s best singer Belle Plaine’s debut album Notes From A Waitress reached No. 3 on Earshot’s national jazz chart in March 2012.
Following radio success and several sold-out shows in her winter Alberta-Saskatchewan tour, she is now launching her first cross-Canada tour. Titled Two for the Road, the summer tour took her to Ontario and now continues through Western Canada with stops in Banff, Revelstoke, Winlaw, Penticton, Vancouver, Victoria, Port Alberni, Courtenay, Fernie and Creston, where she plays at the Snoring Sasquatch on Sept. 18.
Her own brand of jazz fusion unites swing with vintage country and feminine pop. Audiences experience a genre-crossing set list that includes Plaine’s original music, sensual jazz standards such as Fever and Bye Bye Blackbird, folk anthems such as Bob Dylan’s I Shall Be Released and country classics such as Pancho and Lefty.
“If Patsy Cline and Blossom Dearie had a love child, she would sing like Belle Plaine,” said CBC’s SoundXchange host Kelley Jo Burke. “Belle’s voice is old timey and jazzy. It has twang, crystal bells and swing. You listen to this voice, and all of a sudden your cheatin’ heart has a very dry martini in hand, and you’re hearing something both timeless and brand new.”
Notes from a Waitress is Plaine’s first-person narrative about her time as a server in an Australian diner. Somehow, she squeezed 327 words into 3:15 of catchy jazz swing that takes listeners to the front lines of the greasy Aussie dive.
Brawlers was written by Plaine about an incident at a raucous bar in rural Saskatchewan. She was on the road with the Saskatchewan band the Lazy MKs at the time and claims the track is the truest love song she’s ever written — a complicated statement given that it’s about eight men.
On the tour, Plaine will perform all shows with Elizabeth Curry on upright electric bass and harmony vocals. Curry played with the Regina Symphony Orchestra and was voted best bassist by Regina’s Prairie Dog Magazine’s readers in 2010 and 2011.
Tickets for the Sept. 18 concert are $10 in advance at Kingfisher Used Books and Black Bear Books, and $12 at the door, which opens at 7 p.m. The show starts at 8.