On A Wednesday night in the heart of the city, we gathered with country music fans and whiskey lovers at the newly opened Love Child Social House for an evening of Jack Daniels cocktails and celebrations of the power of songs and the women who sing them.
Jessica Mitchell, Madeline Merlo, The Lovelocks, and Jenna Walker of The Reklaws took turns at centre stage, playing short three song sets and telling stories about what they do and what brought them to where they are.
As the stories, songs, and the whiskey flowed, money was being raised for the victims and affected families of the Las Vegas shooting during the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. Dollars from the sale of tickets and special Jack Daniels cocktails were donated to the Music City Cares Fund. It’s a great cause, for the worst reason… and if you have a willingness or ability to help, please consider making a donation or sharing the link: MUSIC CITY CARES FUND.
The music began with Jenna Walker taking the stage, with her brother, and the other half of The Reklaws, Stuart joining her to play guitar and sing a little backup for her. It was special to see Jenna open up and have Stuart step back to give her all of the space she needed and was supposed to have on that night.
Miss Walker’s voice was strong, steady, and started things off with the proof that we had all come to the right place on a Wednesday night. Jenna sang new music (that we can’t wait to hear on an album from The Reklaws) including Boy’s Don’t Cry, I Can Wait, and That Makes Two Of Us. It was a great start to a special evening.
Ali and Zoe, The Lovelocks, with all of the rich and sweet harmonies that we are used to and blessed with every time they sing, were next on the Women, Whiskey, and Music stage. We’ve been fortunate to listen to these two talented women over the last few years, and the chance to hear them stripped down and acoustic is never something we want to miss.
The Lovelocks shared two favourites with the crowd, and added in a sneak peek at their next single. The crowd was 100% into Home Sweet Home, Lovely, and the new track, Staycation. And while everyone surely wished they could have heard more, everyone was happy to have seen and heard Ali and Zoe perform.
Madeline Merlo was the next to step up on the Love Child Social House stage, doing what she does and wowing the crowd with the depth and strength in her voice. The B.C. native has made her mark in Canadian country over the last two years, and on Wednesday night she left that mark again in Toronto.
With War Paint, a new song called Unravelling, and her summer 2017 jam, Motel Flamingo, Madeline had the crowd both emotionally pulled in, and tapping toes and singing along. In just three songs she was able to take everyone along with her, and nobody was disappointed with the short journey.
Jessica Mitchell was the last of these wonderful women to come on stage on Wednesday night, and reminded everyone that she’s a shining star in Canadian music. The stripped down setting fit her perfectly, the weight of the event and cause weren’t too much for her, and if anything – it played perfectly into Mitchell’s performance.
With new songs, Bulletproof and Heart Of Glass opening her set, and her powerhouse hit, Workin’ On Whiskey wrapping it up, all eyes were on the stage and the songstress as she poured everything she had into the songs. It’s hard to explain the feeling of watching Jessica Mitchell, it’s like we should know better than to be surprised by her, but then she goes and wows you and you just stare and sing along.
At the end of Jessica’s mini-set, she invited and welcomed all of the women who had performed back to the stage and as a group they sang a stirring and powerful rendition of Somewhere Over The Rainbow. It was sweet and strong and was the perfect ending for a good night for a good cause.