Witness the incredible harmonies of Po' Girl at Gallery 2

By Contributor
October 21st, 2010

Legendary group Po’ Girl brings its own definitive sound to Gallery 2 (formerly Grand Forks Art Gallery) with their distinct voices, and incredible harmonies these multi-instrumentalists will bring the perfect sound to each song, with penned poetic tunes encouraging you to hum along. 

The name Po’ Girl is a nod to the women of New Orleans who, at the time of the railroad strikes, gathered scraps of food from the restaurants and delivered the notorious Po’ Boy sandwiches to the men while they were striking. It is a nod to the solidarity of the workers, as well as to all the musical influences that came out of New Orleans that have shaped Po’ Girl’s sound. 

The interplay between Allison Russell, Awna Teixeira, Benny Sidelinger, and Mikey “Lightning” August is truly something to behold. Po’Girl showcases a wide array of instruments – from gutbucket bass, accordion, clarinet, banjo, dobro, and guitar, to electric bass, glockenspiel, piano, harmonica, bicycle bells, and drums – and they all frequently trade instruments with each song. Their fluid and joyous musicality is one of the group’s most endearing and irresistible features. 

It’s impossible to put this band in a tidy little box – they’re equally at home in Douala, Cameroon playing the Massao World Music Festival, at the International Jazz Festival in Montreal, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Woodford Music Festival in Australia or just playing for fun for the people in Vondel Park, Amsterdam. 

One might say that Po’ Girl makes 21st century roots music – urban roots – never derivative, not faithfully aping a beloved tradition. Po’ Girl’s music has soulful roots with elements of jazz, country, folk, and R&B grooves. Russell, Teixeira, Sidelinger, and August don’t re-hash the old forms; they reshape and reinvigorate them for new ears.   Like genuine gypsies, they wander and play, out on the international road bringing their unique brand of pan-North-Americana to a widespread audience for 250 – 300 days of the year. Always restless, more often than not bone-tired, they write their flashes of sadness, their loss, their good love, their faint dreams of home into songs that matter deeply to them. Like any good art, the songs are little acts of self-rescue. So listen – who couldn’t use a little rescuing these days?

The not-to-be-missed show begins at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 524 Central Ave. in Grand Forks. Tickets for the concert (limited to 60) are available at Gallery 2 (Grand Forks Art Gallery): $15 for Gallery 2 members or $20 for non-members. To reserve your tickets, please call Gallery 2 at 442-2211. For more information about this concert, please call Kim or Zak at 442-3854.


Categories: Arts and Culture