Dawn Tyler Watson does not enjoy studio work. Preferring instead the spontaneity of live music. The feel. The energy of audience – singer interaction. Last night at L’Astral as part of The Montreal International Jazz Festival – Dawn displayed her true colors.
On the heels of her magnificent album ‘JawBreaker ‘, Tyler-Watson was in the form of a much younger singer. ‘Shine On’ ( Jawbreaker) set the table for an evening filled with delicious delicacies.
Backed by Ben Racine and his band (Dawn’s most recent collaborators ), ‘the night time was the right time’ for R&B, Soul and even a taste of Country. Tyler-Watson ( a veteran of the Montreal music scene) – vocally on fire. An energy cloathed her in a glittery robe. A vibrancy grasped the audience in it’s claws and held on to the final note was delivered.
‘ Jawbreaker’ is an excellent album and most of the tracks were played out last night. The very bluesy ‘Tootsie Roll Blues’ unearthing one of Dawn’s favorite genres and allowing horns to replace the studio harmonica live. Combined with Tyler -Watson’s soul searching sounds, it was the tune which appeared to turn the stage into oneness. Onwards – the band and Dawn ‘ hit their groove’.
The most poignant moment ( one of many ), Dawn’s very personal rendition of the ’70’s Country – themed Rock ballad’ ‘I Dont Live Here Anymore’. Tyler – Watson strumming the acoustic guitar and releasing a jarring vocal performance filled with conviction and emotion. One of those audience – singer moments which leaves no-one indifferent and the performer emotionally drained. Speechless retaliation from the punters framing the moment in time.
Last night, the magic on songs such as ‘Smoked Meat’, ‘It Ain’t Elvis’ and ‘Rotten’ was carried fruitfully by the band. ‘Little Frankie”Thiffault ( tenor sax) produced Jawbreaker. Rarely is a producer on stage playing along to his work. Combined with Racine on guitar, ‘Chemistry’ was the class this band and duo did not skip.
Something spiritual was in the air. Dawn filled with joy and love. Bob Dylan’s ‘Forever Young’ the vehicle for reaching inside and outside to touch the moment. Thiffault’s baby and wife were appropriately brought on stage. Tyler – Watson explaining her stay at the Thiffault’s home before the birth. Microphone firmly in hand and heart firmly on sleeve, a modern day lullaby connected singer Dawn and child. Grown men wiping away tears in the audience as music and vocals erased all the troubles in the world for a shimmering moment.
The beauty and innocence of music cradled the hearts of everyone at L’Astral.
Dawn -Tyler Watson dislikes studio work.Wonder why ?
The Montreal International Jazz Festival continues to the 9th of July.