The planets truly lined up for our evening with Tamara Stuart.
Tamara, already pleased to be at the Little Rabbit Barn, had no idea of the surprise that was in store for her as she ably performed her sound check with J at the controls this time.
Eyes closed and in the zone she sounded great, and this was the moment her old friend Elles Bailey wandered in, road weary after a trip from performing in Hell.
As Tamara opened her eyes, the stunned look on her face at the sight of Elles in the room was a joy to witness. She almost threw her guitar aside as the pair rushed to embrace in an emotional reunion that was going to ensure the evening would be even more special than we already knew it was destined to be…
Tonight we set up caberet style with gingham dressed tables dotted around the room. Subtle lighting and nibbles to share set the scene for relaxed conversation as we anticipated the show to come.
Whilst waiting for showtime we enjoyed background music and then played back video performances from earlier shows at LRB on a large screen set to the rear of the stage. Fortunately, we have an incredible archive of material to choose from, built up over the last 10 years.
After an introduction from Elles, Tamara takes to the stage so as to tell her stories in song, “answers to questions nobody asked”, to great applause.
Face The Music is the opener track 13 from Tamara’s self confessed ‘divorce album’, followed by Untied, Track 4 from this ‘Must Own’ album, THE TRUTH THE MUSIC AND ME.
Tamara tells us how she has been writing songs since she was 10 years old, and this process saved her during the challenging times… She reminds us that there is always hope, before performing the beautiful song Blessed… an anthem of hope if ever there was one.
Now Tamara tells us of her small town, Mooroopna, Australia roots and of her journey which eventually led her to Nashville before she performs Dear Home Town in tribute to those roots. That was a taste of new music to come from a performer who knows how to write great music.
The new album called WOMAN, tackles some controversial topics including childlessness, as we enjoy a preview of The Orphan…Tamara writes and sings from the heart with an insightful passion for subjects and situations that have touched her life, but are oh so relatable to others.
Next Tamara pays tribute to Alan Cackett who was in the audience tonight, thanking him for being the first promoter to bring her to the UK. Telling us of how she flew to the UK just after the September 11th tragedy on an empty plane, such was her drive to share her music.
Next we enjoyed a song for Tamara’s sister. Joan Of Arc is the song with a verse sung in French as that was Tamara’s destination after this gig.
A surprise for us all was when Tamara invited Elles Bailey to the stage to sing a song they wrote together in 2019 during tough times… Walk Away from the SUNSHINE CITY EP, that was a lovely moment as Elles enjoyed her second sip of wine…
Editor: Waiting on approval from Tamara before posting a couple more vids featuring some new songs. Fingers crossed!
From the new album, with another reference to Tamara’s home town of Moorooopna, we enjoy I won’t do your drama any more, or is it called Hey Karen? We may have to wait for the new album release to find out…
That was at fitting close to the first set where we could enjoy amazing company and food, courtesy of Lyn working her magic.
“I just rhyme the truth” says Tamara as she embarks on a fine performance of Birds In Cages The opening track from THE TRUTH THE MUSIC AND ME.. Before she tells us all about how she and Elles met In Nashville, a chance encounter that impacted both their lives in a very positive way.
So now Elles takes to the stage on the house piano (Roland RD 64) and continues the story before performing a brand new unrecorded song from her upcoming album. Who Are You Now. Wow, that was special, you had to be there… Another reason to support independent live music.
Tamara continues with Haunted House and her joy at sharing her music is palpable.
She tells us how she helps elderly Kentucky veterans from the Korean War write their feelings, all over 80, the oldest being 107 years old, and this turned into a project called Lest We Forget, which will be released later this year.
Anything Like This is a song written about these peoples experiences and perspective on Covid isolation, another song to make you think on life, and a treat to witness played live.
From the same project we enjoy the story of Dudley Riley. He was 99 at the time of writing and sadly passed away soon after. Dudley had been a POW in the 2nd World War with a story to tell that Tamara captured beautifully for posterity.
Now, Tamara plays the first single due for release from the upcoming album, Mean Girl… We heard it first at the LRB and we loved it too.
Going back to the veteran’s project, Tamara shares Doing time in quarantine, a fun ditty that captured the spirit of these old timers, that lyric rhymes in Kentucky… laughs…
The last song from Tamara is The Truth, The Music and Me, a spellbinding performance made more special, being the end of the show, you just want to bottle the atmosphere at moments like this…
Well, the applause said it all, we wanted more and, would you believe it, we got it as Tamara and Elles performed a fun jam of the John Prine classic Angel From Montgomery in the key of C.
Elles took the first verse and called the chords, Tamara took verse two and a whole lot of fun was had by all.
A wonderful organic moment to be in the room with two special song writers and performers.
Another magical night at the LRB, thank you Tamara Stewart and Elles Bailey. Joe Wilkins, we missed you…
Thanks to TAMARA STEWART and ELLES BAILEY for a brilliant evening.
Thanks to everyone involved with the production: The fabulous little rabbit crew of Chris on video cameras and setup, Stan on setup and artist merchandise, Stan and Dave on guest list, Brian running Little Rabbit Bar and big thanks to Chris for helping Lyn with food. Chris and Karen on cleardown.
Video credits: J
Photography: Alan The Hat, Chris Kyan
AV editing & audio mix: J
To all wonderful LRB guests and friends who support live music at LRB, big thanks and hope to see y’all next time
We will be back and ready to welcome MIM GREY with her band and KATE ELLIS with Andy Hobsbawm on guitar and bvs on 01 October 2022.
Best wishes, Keep Safe & See Y’all soon
The LRB team