Combining old school charm with modern attitudes: Rosie and the Riveters performing in Prince Albert

Jodi
Jodi Schellenberg
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Through music, dance and clothes, Rosie and the Riveters combine 1940s flair with a positive message.

Rosie and the Riveters, a Saskatoon-based folk band, will be performing at the Mann Art Gallery on Friday.

The Saskatoon-based band consisting of four women will be playing at the Mann Art Gallery on Friday.

“Basically we are four women who come together to sing uplifting and inspirational songs,” member Allyson Reigh said. “We are inspired by Rosie the Riveter who, as you might know, was basically the icon for the women’s movement into the workforce during the Second World War.”

Although Rosie was mostly an American icon, she also inspired women in Canada, Reigh said.

Reigh just joined the band last fall after auditioning and has enjoyed the experience.

“When they asked me to join the band after an audition it was something that sort of resonated with me because my grandmother … she was a Rosie the Riveter -- she repaired planes during the Second World War,” Reigh said. “It is kind of like a family legacy I am happy to carry on, even if in name only because I cannot repair planes.”

All four women in the band have their own independent music careers and are self-employed for the most part, she said.

“When we come together it is like us really supporting each other and we do lots to promote each other’s individual products as well as our band,” Reigh said.

They generally use only one guitar and feature a lot of body percussion, vocal arrangements, harmonies and dance moves.

“It is more about the harmonies and the voices and the show of that, which I think can be a difficult way to showcase your talent, but I think we have put a lot of work and talent into it so it is a pretty good show,” Reigh said. “I just joined in the fall but I think the girls have been pretty successful with before that and they did a lot of the groundwork.”

The show is also unique because they play a lot of inspirational music.

“That’s one of the things that really originally attracted me to being part of this group is that we don’t sing sappy love songs -- we could fall into that genre, where we are four women with a guitar and dressed in 1940s with the pin curls, victory rolls and the polka dot dresses and we could be singing about love or whatever, but we don’t,” Reigh said.

“We chose songs that are either uplifting or have a positive message,” she added.

Although they are not a religious band, Reigh said they take a lot of inspiration from older African-American spirituals.

“There are really interesting harmonies and really interesting music that can go along with it,” Reigh said. “Some of our music is inspired by that traditional music. We do a few other songs that have something to do with the environment or just positive social change messages.”

Not only do they sing inspirational tunes, they also spread that love and hope on through other ventures.

“We invest 20 per cent of our merchandise sales into kiva.org,” she said. “It is an organization that uses microfinance loans to support women and men in their startup businesses in developing nations. From there, we generally invest only in women’s projects.”

Reigh encourages people to come check out their show, adding that it is very entertaining.

“People are usually really engaged and we have fun little stories and there is a chance for us each to feature our vocals, so it is not like one person is the lead,” she said. “It is a really fun show and it is a really inspiring show so I think that people really enjoy it for those reasons -- it is not just that you go and sit for a concert.

“It is a really interactive experience and the girls are really funny. I enjoy it half as much as a member as I would watching it. It is pretty funny. For me that is the joy and I think people enjoy it as well.”

Tickets are available in advance at the Mann Art Gallery for $17 and at the door on Friday for $20.

Organizations: Mann Art Gallery

Geographic location: Prince Albert, Canada

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  • Warren
    May 26, 2014 - 14:14

    It would have been nice to include the date of the event in the article (other than saying Friday).