Revered soul songstress Ann Vriend is returning to her honourary second home for her annual Australian summer tour – and she is dropping into the shire.
The Canadian performer will play the Brass Monkey, Cronulla on February 23 as part of the pilgrimage with her band, the Rooster Davis Group.
Vriend plans to showcase new material from her as-yet-untitled EP – due for release early this year – and will also play audience favourites from her current release For The People In The Mean Time.
It has been almost one year since the sultry singer was in Australia and Vriend said she can’t wait to get back on local stages.
“I can’t wait to play some of my new tunes for everybody down there,” she said.
“Some of the new tunes we’ve been playing for a year live already and people always ask for them at the merch table. And, I’m not going to lie, Australia’s summer is such a thing to look forward to when you’re from such a cold northern city as Edmonton.”
Despite the cold, it has been a huge year for Vriend both on the home front and internationally. She has recently signed with Canadian record company Aporia Records and spent several weeks touring Europe.
Add to that a number of festivals throughout Canada meaning there has been little downtime for Vriend and her band. The few breaks in touring throughout the year were spent in the studio, laying down tracks for the new release.
Returning to Australia, and the shire, will continue the busy streak that looks set to carry Vriend well into this year. She will bring her acclaimed band back with her, the award-winning Rooster Davis Group, who are rapidly gaining fans in Australia with their New Orleans blues and funk sound.
“We’ll play the new songs we’ll be releasing, plus some favourites from the previous albums,” Vriend said.
“In general, it’s a lively show on the soul-funk-pop side, with some quiet ballads on the piano here and there. The band has two keyboard players, me on piano or wurly and Rooster Davis on basslines on the Hammond organ and drums and vocals. And then our third band member is on drums and backing vocals so it is a very unusual set-up instrumentally.
“We have been touring this way for about three years and although people are always sceptical when we’re first setting up as they don’t see a guitar or bass guitar by the end of the show even the biggest sceptics are converted.
“I’m very lucky to have monster musicians in my band to make it work.”