It was a lovely day in Blue Ridge, Georgia on Saturday, well worth the time it took to get there from Kennesaw (about an hour and a half.) My husband and I got in a little early and had time to explore the town a bit before going to the Blue Ridge Community Theater to see one of our favorite performers, and indeed one of our favorite people, Tullie Brae. As a bonus, we also got to see another favorite person, her manager, Jayme Fallon. Knowing we were getting to see them and a fabulous performance as well, we were excited. We were front row center, so she was right in front of us, and since she does not stay on the stage, often just inches away. Being the sweet person she is, she acknowledged us, “Rhetta..one of my dear friends right here on the front row with her wonderful husband.” Right away, she ensured that this will not be an objective review, but I have never really seen the point of those.
Tullie, as usual, looked beautiful. She sounded beautiful, too, and the packed auditorium proved that they agreed. It doesn’t hurt that she had s really fantastic band who can match her and seem to really enjoy what they are doing, and the joy involved in Tullie’s show is a big part of the appeal. Even when she is doing a dark song with a riveting story like “Price of the Blues,” it is a pleasure to listen and watch, with a shiver like you get from watching a drama unfold. It also lets her showcase her ability on the Hammond organ.
The show is interactive too. Tullie roams through the audience as she sings, shaking hands, pulling people up with her to sing or dance, and encouraging the audience to sing along or clap along. She follows a song like “Devil in Deville,” about a fight between a country preacher and the devil, with a song like “Shine,” a lovely inspirational number. Her Louisiana upbringing, with an Apostolic preacher for a father, colors everything she sings. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” she says.
Most of Tullie’s songs are self-penned, but she also does some great covers, such as ‘Rock Me Baby,” “Ball and Chain,” and the number that lets the band show off, “Tom Cat,” a little-known Muddy Waters tune. Many of the songs she did are from her fantastic new album, Revelation. Most of them are cheerful, like “New Shoes,” on which she describes her man as being like a pair of new shoes, and every woman in the audience understood exactly what she meant by the reaction. She also did the very popular and heartfelt “Mississippi Rain,” which is getting a lot of airplay on Bluesville and elsewhere. The delightful “Watch Her Move” was appropriate since everyone was enjoying watching her move, and “Seven Bridges” is a revival by itself.
It was a wonderful show. We were not allowed to film during it, but at intermission, we got to go backstage and take the one of me and her. I have a number of these, in all of which she looks beautiful and I look happy. You might think we would spend that few minutes talking about her, and we did, but somehow we ended up talking about my youngest granddaughters, who she sees on Facebook. That is the sort of warm, nourishing person Tullie is. And that comes through on stage, too. She sounds like a friendly, outgoing person, and that is how she is with her fans, based on my own experience. If you get a chance to see Tullie, go. Whether it is across town or an hour or so away, it will be worth it! In the meantime, pick up Revelation and acquaint yourself with this fabulous artist!