Thursday, January 21, 2010

Over The Rainbow ~ The Eva Cassidy Story

What a fab birthday present! Thanks Mum and Dad!
Guess where I went to last night ....
Hull New Theatre to see the amazing show Over the Rainbow ~ The Eva Cassidy story.
The theatre production features a cast of about 9 people. Some with dual roles. The simple set being excentuated with the use of projected images of the places that Eva grew up in and visited.
The cast members are all competant musicians who form the band and the quality of singing is amazing.
The production shows scenes from her life and starts by introducing a fourteen year old Eva and her family. We see the relationships she had with them all and the shy, awkwardness with which she lived, her despiration to please her father, but her failure to do so. Her wonderful caring German mother, and her protectiveness and love for her sibblings.
We then see her growing up and getting her first job in a wild west theme park as a singer. Her tallent so obvious and yet her shyness holding her back.
When Eva was eighteen she met her sole mate Chris. Chris was a recoring engineer and Eva worked as a backing singer. Chris saw her tallent and when Eva asked him to help her produce a demo tape he agreed.
It was being introduced by Chris to singer Chuck Brown a black jazz singer and he dueted with Eva and was able to open doors into clubs and venues that had previously been shut to Eva.
Then came the famous Blues Alley album recording. Eva had borrowed money to fund it and everything was set. The night was by those that came hailed a success, but technical problems meant that the recording was of very poor qulality and Eva was unhappy as she felt her voice was nasily as she was suffering from a cold.
Sadly a cold was not all the Eva wa suffering from. Her arents owned a plant nursery and Eva loved to be working there, sadly a life outdoors tractor driving in the sun left her with a melanoma. The cancer was vicious and Eva missed appointments and it began to defeat her.
The Blues Alley Albumwith one additional song "O I had a golden thread" was not completed before her death.
On 17th September 1996 Eva gave her last public performance. Her friends organised a tribute concert. Eva arrived in her wheelchair, big fluffy hat and yet when she was lifted onto the stage she sang as though there was nothing wrong at all, her own version of "Wonderful world".
Sadly just six weeks later she died.
Eva Cassidy is the only artist to have achieved 3 postumous number 1 albums.
While she was alive Eva fought against the music industry and their closed minds. Albums had to be marketable in catagories, Jazz, blue, rock, folk, country etc. Eva transcended boundries. Her love for music was just that and her ability saw her totally capable in each genre. Record Labels were not interested in a wide tallent.
Eva Cassidy is still being discovered. Just recently she's had 5 albums all in the charts at the same time in Scandinavia as they have joined the throngs of Eva fans.
For those of you comtemplating going to the theatre to see the show, please don't forget the tissues. It's not only the end that has you weeping. Two songs in and they were flowing, women and men with tears falling.
The show features all her well known songs: Wade in the water, The rose, Kathy's song, Songbird, Imagine, What a wonderful world, Over the Rainbow, Fields of Barley, Autumn leaves and many many more.

Dispite the publicity showing Zoe Tyler. She wasn't there and from what I believe the whole of the spring tour, it will be by a girl who's voice, persona and looks were Eva. Sadly I don't know her name as she didn't appear in the programme. She was wonderful.

2 comments:

Not Just Handbags said...

ooh have a lovely time! I cried reading the insert to the cd about her life, I think I would be dehydrated if I went to see the show!

Bahiyyih said...

The memories of Eva Marie Cassidy still lingers. She was one great vocalist known for her interpretations of jazz, blues, folk, gospel, country and pop. http://www.myspace.com/bahiyyihmusic

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