Text: James Phaily
Images: Stephen Connor
On Friday March 9th 2018, a true jewel of the deepest south, crossed over the threshold and into the Roots Folk and Blues Night, which takes place at the Ukrainian Club on Beckett Road: the beautiful presence, enchanting vocals and intricate instrumentation of chanteuse Bronwynne Brent came up from the Mississippi Delta and took us to another world, we were her audience and she was our girl.
So who was this extraordinary singer/songwriter with stardust in her hair, who braved the icy weather to give us a musical injection of pure soul and folk/country magic?
Arguably one of the brightest of lights to ever grace a Doncaster stage…This lady who was possessed of the most amazing and evocatively heart-wrenching voice on the scene today, was also an amazing rhythm guitarist. Bronwynne was on a UK tour and had chosen to bring her light and apple-pie goodness to the cold icy winds of deepest, darkest Doncaster.
It was no doubt that Miss Brent warmed the hearts of all concerned with her vibrant personality and soulful southern style. Accompanied by an amazing virtuoso double bass player called Mario Caribe’– Bronwynne sang her songs of heartbreak and life experience in such a wistful, evocative and emotionally moving way that at the end of every song: the mastery of her oeuvre and the sheer beauty of the way the double bass and Bronwynne’s guitar and vocals meshed together, guaranteed cheers and raptures of applause, from the appreciative audience.
The songs Bronwynne performed were taken not only from her beautifully orchestrated and arranged two albums, but also new work from the third as-yet unreleased album…She even managed to play an enjoyable couple of cover-songs.
Miss. Brent is a very special artist because she denies categorization, taking elements of folk, country, blues and jazz and melding them into a beautiful and otherworldly sound. A consummate professional and adept musician; I got the impression that she is just at home playing solo as she is with an arrangement of strings, keyboards and drums. However it is the sheer power of her song-writing which shone through on the night…Bronwynne has lived and this is apparent in the timbre of her song-writing and delivery which is highly emotive. However her craft celebrates life, love and the good times as well as the fleeting happiness contained within the sad.
This lady is also possessed of a good soul. You can simply tell by the vibrant and including way she talked between songs to her audience…Also like many of us, no matter how many times she has had her heartbroken, you get the impression she will never give up on falling in love.
Bronwynne played two amazing and mind-blowing sets, the songs she had crafted just kept coming, songs about friendship,(Bulletproof), songs about leaving (Dark Highway), songs about the promises we make to never tempt fate (Devil Again)…And of course songs about getting your heartbroken (Heartbreaker)…
This being a very memorable night when I won a cd in the raffle I got to meet the lady herself, she was vibrant, good-natured and lovely, gladly signing my album and enchanting me with her southern twang and beautiful heart. The audience and I walked into a cold rainy Doncaster night, armed with the blissful happiness of knowing we had just been part of something very special, from an artist who we would not have heard the last of…
BRONWYNNE BRENT: Roots, Folk and Blues Night, Ukrainian Club, Friday, March 9th 2018.
Text: James Phaily