Jammin Divas Brings the Season to an End

The Outpost in the Burbs spring season finale on Friday, June 7, featured three diverse acts from different parts of the world: The Jammin’ Divas, Bobtown and Tall Heights.

Jammin Divas, Bobtown and Tall Heights perform in Montclair.

Concert crowd
© Acarralon | Dreamstime Stock Photos

It is appropriate that the Tri-Bill was held in the intimate setting in the Unitarian Universalist Congregation’s Fletcher Hall. It was complete with chairs and round tables. Not only is it because the Outpost is generally all about togetherness and helping out those in need, but is also about an appreciation of diverse acts, both musically and geographically.

A prime example of this semblance of diversity is the five-piece ensemble The Jammin Divas. The members from Ireland, Australia, Israel, Rhode Island and Kansas. Each member has his/her own folk and world elements to bring to the table. Their collective sound is by no means cacophonous.

Jammin Divas include Australia native and vocalist/guitarist Kate Buckell. She opened the show by praising the crowd. In regards, for not letting Friday night’s torrential downpours prevent them from coming out to support them and have a good time. Many of the songs she has written and performed that night were inspired by the poetry of Henry Lawson. They include “Coming Back Home” and “Weary Drover.” Buckell does write her own personal material.

Jammin Divas include Aoife Clancy, of Ireland. She plays tambourine and sings. She appropriately brought forth “Fields of Green” for the positive side of a rainy night. She also shared an anecdote of a method that many independent and folk artists use to keep their careers. Not to mention, creative juices going. She reworks much of her old material, especially when performing live.

Another Jammin Diva homage to Ireland she brought forth was “Bluebirds Over White Cliffs of Dover.” Most of the songs that night came from another vocalist and guitarist named Becky Chace of Rhode Island. They consist of “Gold,” “A River” and “I Span.”

The Jammin Divas also featured talented Israeli-born flutist Hadar Noiberg. Also, upright bassist Craig Akin, who is originally from Kansas. She currently resides in New York City.

Bobtown, whose sound is strongly influenced by country, bluegrass and Americana, kept the crowd

dancing and jamming. They played tunes such as “Take Me Down to the River” and “Mary When are You Going Home?” They also performed a cover of “My Body is a Cage” by the Arcade Fire. That didn’t “stop anyone from dancing,” as some of the lyrics may suggest.

They also gave their own version of “Bonnie and Clyde.” The most weather-appropriate song of the night, called “Flood Water Rising.” Another unique performance they gave was their own version of a “slave holler.” Slave hollers were songs that slaves would make up and sing in order to help them get through the backbreaking work in the fields. Bobtown’s version is aptly entitled, “When Shall I Go?”

Bobtown started the show with a slave holler, all while performing a cappella. After their set, they announced that attendees could purchase their albums by donation. Their stickers and magnets were free.

Tall Heights, a Boston duo consisting of cellist Tim Harrington and guitarist Paul Wright. They performed numbers such as “Man of Stone” and “To Be Young.” They were the most folk/indie-sounding act on the bill. They balanced out the dancy sounds of the Divas and Bobtown.

Baked goods were graciously provided by Montclair Bread. One attendee named Scott said that he felt a strong, warm sense of intimacy between performers and audience. This was intended by the Outpost volunteers, performers and audience.

This may have been the last official event of the spring season, but on June 14, Outpost will be hosting a benefit concert for the Roth family, and the act on the bill is the Guthrie brothers. Hank Roth, a former Outpost volunteer, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly this past February. His passing left his family in a very tough financial situation. The proceeds for this event will go toward his family to help them in every way possible.

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