Cathy Richardson Band
with Maisie Bull
Friday, Nov 25, 2016 8:00 PM CST
(7:00 PM Doors)
SPACE, Evanston, IL
When Cathy Richardson requested a soundman turn up her vocals at a recent show, it prompted a confirming cheer from the crowd. You buy a ticket to hear Richardson sing.
Richardson’s voice draws raves wherever she performs. It’s been written that Richardson is the best female singer in rock today. She’s fearless in how she pushes her voice. She digs deep and takes her vocals to places few singers dare approach in the belting tradition of Janis Joplin and Ann Wilson. It takes talent and guts to sing with such freedom, and Richardson has plenty of both to break on through to the other side.
So Richardson has that going for her.
What can be easily overlooked, and it is easy with that voice, is how complete a performer Richardson is. She can do it all, smoothly switching gears from delivering a heartfelt acoustic number to playing guitar hero to jumping behind a keyboard – all while subtly conducting her band. That stems from the confidence built only through years of experience. The road warrior has stepped into the spotlight in a variety of roles from leading her Cathy Richardson Band to starring in the musical Love, Janis to singing for Big Brother and the Holding Company to touring as Jefferson Starship’s singer to fronting the Macrodots to playing solo shows. In short, she knows her way around a stage. She’s always been one to inject spontaneity into her shows, an essential element that transforms a performer from simply playing rock and roll to being it. Living in the moment where anything can happen is when the music comes alive and thrills, and Richardson knows it. She regular introduces the potential for such moments and uses them to take her performance to higher ground in search of transcendence. Improvising jams, honored requests, captivating covers and good humor help make each of her band shows a unique event.
Richardson’s hometown concerts are particularly special. She plays her home turf like she’s ready to defend it, if need be, to the death. Armed with a potent songbook, she’ll be going into battle in this show with longtime foil, whirling fiddler Anne Harris, fellow Jefferson Starship traveler, guitarist Jude Gold, local bassist Greg Panciera and Macrodots drummer Steven Gillis.