On a dreich night, it feels alright to be listening to soulful, tuneful folk and blues in a darkened room and that is what Oh Susanna served up with crystal clear lyrics. Susanna wore a black dress with a repeated white fleur de lys motif, over which a dark cardigan covered her shoulders. This contrasted with her rosewood acoustic guitar to great effect, for she makes it sing. Her voice is reminiscent of the younger Nanci Griffith and Susanna (Suzie) Ungerleider does that curiously effective thing Nanci does so well, prefacing her songs with pithy apt comments and anecdotes which draw the audience in, so you feel included and valued.
The support act was another Canadian, Dennis Ellsworth, who in trilby hat and dark clothes, explained just what a difficult flight it had been leaving a raging blizzard behind and observed that the 35 hour journey had been longer than it had taken for him to travel to Georgia to lay down tracks for his new album. Dennis brought on stage, English folk musician, John Smith and together they enriched the hour with ballads and songs inspired by among other things, failed romances, flat sharing and the death of Dennis’s cat. Bluesy and soulful Dennis brought real life into his songs, favourite for me was a collaborative piece written with John, titled ‘Perfect Storm’ – beautiful and poignant.
Overall the Concert was a couthy two and three quarter hours short, with not a grumble or moan about the buses.
Reviewer ; Marc Sherland