by Scott Roos
pics by Deanna Roos of Contingent Colours Photography
It was a journey of self rediscovery for folk songstress Allyson Reigh this past Wednesday, Aug. 18 as she took the drive-in stage at Prince Albert’s E.A. Rawlinson Centre For the Arts. It was Reigh’s first live show in 17 months and, more importantly, her first since her previous group, Rosie and the Riveters, disbanded.
Throughout the course of the evening, Reigh was equal parts nostalgic, poignant, and emotional as she cycled through a carefully crafted setlist of original songs from her 2013 solo effort. Sprinkled throughout were tracks that helped her process the pandemic with covers by Fleetwood Mac, Kacey Musgraves, Norah Jones and Kathleen Edwards to name a few.
“I put together a show that featured a lot of artists that I leaned on during the pandemic whose words I found comforting and whose songs made me feel something,” said Reigh in a brief interview with NSMZ after the show.
Reigh’s voice, to her credit, was on point and showed none the worse for wear. Her backing band provided strong musicianship to punctuate an already strong performance from Reigh. Reigh seemed happy with the results, and the hometown crowd was appreciative as they supported her with applause, cheers and the honking of horns.
“It felt… Just the best feeling. I’m so happy,” remarked Reigh about her time on the drive-in stage. (keep scrolling)
*Blackman joined Reigh on stage for a few acoustic tunes
The most powerful moment on the night came when it was just Reigh and guitar player Shawn Blackman left on the stage. Blackman started to go into the opening chords of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” when Reigh leaned in and asked him to briefly pause. Rosie and the Riveters had been such a big part of Reigh’s life so she took a few moments to talk to the audience about it. There’s still many people who don’t know that the group has disbanded. Reigh wanted to set the record straight with regards to her time with the group. Looking back, she had the time of her life in the Riveters but, at the same time, the group collectively reached a decision that it was time to move on. The disbanding was amicable.
“I think I did the best that I could in talking about it. It’s still pretty hard for me because it’s a big life change but I was able to select some songs that really felt like they encompassed my experience and I was really happy with how they went and to share them with the audience,” Reigh explained. “Landslide”, as it turned out, was the perfect choice.
At the end of the day, the future for Reigh moving forward as an artist is uncertain. Uncertainty, though, just sort of goes hand in hand with the times we are living in. Deep down, Reigh knows that she will keep creating. In terms of releasing new material, that is likely a question best answered another day.
“I love playing music and to play with these guys again would be just a dream. I will always be writing music so I hope we can bring another show to PA another time but I’m going back to school in the fall because with the pandemic it’s hard to envision making a living the way I was in Rosie and the Riveters because we don’t know what the future holds. So (I’m) going to school for another degree and will continue to perform,” Reigh said.
“I have a degree in international studies and I want to get a degree in social work and I want to be a therapist who also sings. Maybe music therapy (laughs). I think music is a great therapy on it’s own so that certainly feels appropriate.”
The final show in this season’s Rawlinson drive-in series will go down Wednesday, Sept. 1st and will feature Saskatoon alt-rock act W3apons. Tickets are available and can be purchased here: bit.ly/EARCW3APONS