Imelda May at Pianos
It’s hard to ignore the dearth of rockabilly bands hitting the Big Apple as part of their tour itinerary. So, when I get an invite to check out an up and coming rockabilly diva at an NYC show, I do not turn it down.
In the case of Imelda May, the show lived up to the hype. May is a country crooner straight out of the extremely not western-style country of Ireland. She’s petite, she’s spunky, and she belts out original and traditional rockabilly and rhythm and blues as if she were Etta James.
Pianos was packed to capacity, last week, as May and her backing band to stage for solo show between Chuck Berry gigs. The crowd was a mix of fans and curious onlookers, but everyone was sold by the second note of “Feel Me”. The show was clearly a night for the band to let its hair down, as May eschewed her usual fancy dresses for a bitching Electric Frankenstein shirt and heels. Not that anyone seemed to mind. She rocked and they were there to be rocked.
May split the set between tunes from her new release and old standards. Pretty much anything the crowd begged to be played was obliged. Sure, her band mates smoked on guitar and upright bass, but Steve Rushton just looked devilish behind his drum set and Dave Priseman just blew the crowd away when he broke out the horns.
Imelda May might be considered a throwback, but the East Coast has been begging for some old school rockabilly soul and Imelda May is a sultry singer happy to deliver. Make sure you catch her set next time she hits the States—you won’t be disappointed.