RAW: Cabaret Festival – Robyn Archer – The Other Great American Songbook – 4K

From a haunting opening solo to a fun medley of US place names to finish, Robyn Archer delights in her program entitled The Other Great American Songbook.

Opening with tunes from the 1850s, Archer explores songs of wit, about depression and despair, censorship and by exiled Europeans as a result of World War II, ending with Bob Dylan’s Hard Rain Gonna Fall and Pink.

Robyn Archer is a colossus on the Australian stage, particularly in Adelaide given her role as Festival Artistic Director in recent years. Her choice of songs reflects not only a deep knowledge and understanding of her subject matter but also a desire to impose, subtly, some of her political views about the world.

Having sat thought Karin Schaupp and Katie Noonan’s similar attempt with British songs, this is a street ahead through sheer prfessionalism alone.

Backed by the ‘soggy bottom band – Adelaide Chapter’, comprised of Michael Morley on piano, waterboard and the like, Mathew Carey on key board and whistle and George Butrumlis on accordion, the show quickly engages the large loyal following in the crowd, bringing on from them spontaneous vocal accompaniment and a great, upbeat atmosphere.

This was Archer’s world premiere of the material and it is all the pity it is the only show she is giving at this festival. However, anyone taken with American music should ensure they get to see a performance when she tours.

Kryztoff Rating  4K

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