MORRISBURG – It was hard to stay in your seat five minutes into Miss Emily’s concert at Stone Crop Acres Winery on Saturday, October 30.
With a voice that played up and down the scales, bursting with passion and honesty, supported by a topnotch group of incredible musicians, Miss Emily had her audience energized, thrilled and ready to rock by the end of her very first number. …And the rest of the night just got better.
Winner of numerous musical honours, including 2020 Female Vocalist of the Year, Miss Emily brought her unique fusion of soul, blues and rock to the Winery stage on Saturday night. In an earlier interview with The Leader, she explained “I sing how a feeling moves me. My voice is my emotion vocally. If I don’t feel it, I just don’t sing it.” Her music is intense and often personal since she is also a composer. In Silver Lining, a song she said she wrote “at a dark time” she finds hope. “I know you have to go/ but all I really need to know/ is there’s a silver lining coming my way.” The same is true with the emotions in Encore! – a song she wrote with Chris Brown and Luther Wright. “When you give it all you can give – Encore!/ I gave them what they came here for/What shall I expect as my reward – Encore!”
Comfortable and easy on stage, obviously delighted to be back in front of an audience (“This is very exciting to me… because I can see your faces!”), Miss Emily seemed to have an inexhaustible supply of energy. And an infectious sense of humour. She noted that her physiotherapist had warned her she needed to adopt more “practical” footwear, “so I switched to three inch heels instead of six inch heels.” “Blood, Sweat & Tears was my Raffi growing up. I wanted to emulate David Clayton Thomas.”
Her music is sexy, gutsy and intoxicating. Accompanying herself on the keyboard, she delivered on a plaintive number like Girlfriend, “You say you miss me…and I go home alone.” Then she and the band belted out the jazzy Fire! Fire! Fire! There were even occasions when the audience was moved to join her, enthusiastically clapping and singing the chorus of Hold Back the River.
“I personally believe I work with the best men ever put on this planet.” Miss Emily said, describing the amazingly talented artists who backed her up during the concert with keyboard, sax, bass, drums, guitar and some great vocals. “When they told me I had won a “new artist” award, I had to laugh,” she said. “I am not new. Some members of this band and I have been playing together for 16 or 17 years. Even a world wide pandemic cannot change how we feel about the music industry. We are bitten by the bug, and we are all infected by the disease of music.”
The evening concert at the Winery seemed to fly by. This artist’s level of musical energy is incredible, her voice an amazing, creative instrument.
And when Miss Emily joyously sang out “the spirit moves me,” well, this was clearly an audience that felt that same spirit moving them all rocking night long.
Incidentally, Stone Crop Acres and Harmony Concerts have gone above and beyond to regularly make their outstanding line up of shows accessible to community groups and charitable organizations. Many worthy groups have received donations from the concert series held at Stone Crop.
The Flash a ‘Stache organization, raising awareness of prostate cancer and also raising funds for research (all money raised locally stays locally), was introduced at the October 30th concert and had volunteers manning an information booth. Baldwin House, which supports women’s shelters and support groups, was also represented at the concert.