Everything old is new again — let the vintage inspired sound of Rosie and the Riveters warm you up in the deep heart of a Cranbrook winter.
Since four Saskatoon-based women got together to perform uplifting vocal music with a 1940s flair, they have taken the folk scene by storm, winning rave reviews across the country and getting international attention for their 2015 album “Good Clean Fun.”
Rosie and the Riveters are launching this year’s Fisher Peak Winter Ale Concert Series, playing the Key City Theatre Wednesday, Jan. 25. And to get to Cranbrook, they’ve set out on winter tour. The Riveters’ Allyson Reigh spoke to the Townsman Thursday from the back of a van, en route to Regina on the first day of that tour. Reigh spoke about their influences, their unique “vintage” sound, their song-writing process and the importance of positivity in music.
“Once we got together and started singing, we noticed our voices singing in harmony just naturally had a vintage flair to it,” Reigh said, adding that the band just celebrated its fifth birthday.
“We started off singing gospel tunes — we really love the tradition of gospel music — but that evolved for us. We take the inspiration of gospel music, in that it’s all about positivity, and overcoming struggle. We think it’s important to keep positivity in music.
“We could identify a little bit with the vocal treatment of the Andrews Sisters, perhaps, and we started to work towards creating that vintage sound.
“It’s still pretty contemporary, but we are vintage inspired, singing in harmony and keeping those longstanding traditions.”
As well as Reigh, Rosie and the Riveters are comprised of Alexis Normand and Farideh Olsen. The other original member, Melissa Nygren, recently departed the group to pursue other interests. But the show goes on, including the touring, recording and songwriting process.
“We write most of our music ourselves,” Reigh said. “We do have a few cover songs that audiences will know and remember, but for the most part it is original material. It’s vintage inspired, taking the positivity from other musical traditions, adding a little sass and charm, and we call it Rosie and the Riveters.”
Their songwriting process is collaborative, and the ideas come from hither and yon.
“We get our ideas from all over,” Reigh said. “We listen to a lot of contemporary music, a lot of vintage music — anything that we find inspiring. And it doesn’t have to be music that’s played on the radio; it could be things people send us, stuff we’ve discovered when we’ve gone down the YouTube rabbit hole … Sometimes we’ll bring half a song to the group, or an idea for a song, or a full song. So sometimes it’s collaborative, sometimes one person will bring a song and we’ll tweak it just a little bit before we put it into the set. We certainly all have creative minds, and find a lot of inspiration from music and life around us.”
The band has two albums under their belt, including “Live in 2012,” and the studio album “Good Clean Fun,” released in 2015. “And we’ve just started writing for our new record.”
Cranbrook concert goers can expect a fantastic show, Reigh said. “We like to say that we’ve put on a SHOW, so when you think of a show from the 1930s and ’40s, it’s really visual. We’ve got synchronized dance moves, we dress the part, we’ve got harmonies, and I think we’re pretty funny.
“We like to tell audiences that they can come and have a good time and leave their burdens with us. We like to promote positivity — hopefully people come to our show and leave feeling a little bit lighter.”
Rosie and the Riveters kick off the Fisher Peak Winter Ale Concert Series 2017, Wednesday, January 25. Show starts at 7 p.m. at the Key City Theatre. Oliver McQuaid is the opening act.