A historic down-home funky-town venue hosting a fabulous artist who ranged from sultry to classic to funky to country without breaking a sweat.
Almost two months ago (yes, the end of year snuck up on me) I made the trek to Anderson Fair for the first time to see the venerable Ginger Leigh.
For those of you (like me) who are culturally unaware, Anderson Fair is a fun music venue that’s hosted music’s finest since 1969. There’s even a documentary called For the Sake of the Song: The Story of Anderson Fair. The venue has played host to artists such as Lyle Lovett and Nanci Griffith. And the place feels reverent. There’s a weight to the darkness as you settle into the rows of small round tables, staring up at the small stage. Maybe it’s the decades of creativity (they require any musician who plays there to write their own songs), or the careers it has launched, or the wild block parties in the height of Montrose’s hippier days. But being there, you know you’re steeped in history.
The artist I was there to see, Ginger Leigh, was someone I happened to meet at a wedding in Stratford-upon-Avon, and boy did I not know what I was in for. She started up with a fast-moving southern rock number that had me ready to get up and dance a jig, and by the end of the night had cycled through a few numbers with a bit more soul, a funk piece that they retooled into jazz on the fly, a classical Italian piece, and a few covers. But what else kind of range would you expect from a Texas-girl who spent many of her formative years in Italy and other places around the globe? She has ten albums, including her recently released Hey Funky You (the title track of which I’m listening to on YouTube while I write). She’s got soul. She’s got range. She even has a few jokes.
- Anderson Fair: It’s a super funky place still hosting a wide range of performers, and paying the performers the lion’s share of ticket prices. It’s closed in the summer, so hurry up and check it out y’all! http://andersonfair.net/fall-concerts/
- Ginger Leigh: Check out her music. Her range is phenomenal and all of it evokes some serious emotion. I’m here for it. Join me: https://gleigh.com/ or on Spotify. So far my favorite is either “Hey Funk You”, “Better than Well”, or “Jetstream”.
- The history: The Chronicle did a great article about eleven years ago (https://www.chron.com/entertainment/music/article/New-documentary-captures-the-history-of-Anderson-1802904.php#photo-1395082) or the documentary about Anderson Fair is available on Prime Video or on their website (http://www.andersonfairthemovie.com/).