The winter concert season for Shadow House Concerts has started again, with Jenie Thai, a pianist and singer/songwriter from Edmonton, performing for a small crowd at St. John’s Anglican Church on Thursday night. Wadena was the first stop on her longest tour yet; from here she continues on all the way to Quebec and back.
Thai played a selection of her own original songs, with covers of hits by the iconic Sippie Wallace and 1970s pop star Linda Ronstadt thrown in near the end. Thai’s energetic playing and uninhibited vocals added to the enjoyment of the audience, already impressed by her piano skills. Her songs reflect her influences, from classical to Memphis Slim and Bonnie Raitt.
Thai is no stranger to house concerts. She calls her first few tours her “couch concert series,” when she made contacts through a website that connects travellers with a free place to stay, and travelled through B.C. and southern Alberta to take her music to people in the comfort of their living rooms.
“I love house concerts,” she told the News. “The audiences are sometimes small, but they are actually listening!”
Thai made sure to publicly thank Don Tait for his efficient handling of her arrangements in Wadena. Tait is the mover and shaker behind Shadow House Concerts, and without his efforts there would be a lot fewer professional musicians coming to our area to share their talents.
While she will be doing some house concerts on this tour, Thai will entertain in a wide mix of venues that will include a concert series and a convention. Perhaps on her way back she will be able to stop in again. If so, and if you are someone who appreciates rockin’ blues piano and scorchin’ hot vocals, don’t miss her next visit.
By Charlene Wirtz