Sunday September 21, 2014

Tonight in Prime Time

Maria in the Shower coming back to Brandon

Submitted photo

Maria in the Shower brings their high-energy music to Brandon this month, at the Double Decker.

By Jeri James

I first stumbled upon Maria in the Shower last year at the Brandon Folk Music and Art Festival. I think that this would be the appropriate time for me to mention that Maria in the Shower is the name of a band, and not a girl named Maria who I happened to walk in on while she was showering. When I met the guys I knew little of the band and they knew less of me. I was sent with the task of gathering them up and feeding them, which I must say makes you a popular person to a starving musician on the road.
As I entered the campsite I saw one lone van and in it four slightly stylish, well travelled, and overall rather unassuming men.  I walked up to them and asked if they were hungry, and after a swift introduction they were pretty willing to go with a stranger if it meant the possibility of food and beverages. Over the course of the meal we had some nice chats, a round of hide and go seek in the restaurant with the young son of another musician, and a tour of Downtown Brandon. Now as you read this I’m sure you are wondering why I am giving such a detailed synopsis of the first meeting. I can safely say that I have met a fair number of musicians in my lifetime and it’s true that you can be surprised by the transformation that some make when they hit the stage, but in my time I have never seen one as dramatic as Maria in the Shower.
When Jack Garton, Martin Reisle, Brendon Hartley, and Todd Biffard hit the stage they do it in style! The men I saw willing to crawl around on the ground with a 3 year old boy who wanting to play hide n’ seek, were all of a sudden spiffed out to the nines in long tailed white tuxedos. Watching the quartet is the same as being at a theatrical performance. From the microphone stands, to the tips of their toes, Maria in the Shower presents a complete package when they play. Even when looking at their facebook page, the importance isn’t stressed on the musical instrument that they play, but rather what they provide to the dynamic of the band.
The music encapsulates aspects of Cabaret, Vaudeville, Jazz, Blues, Swing, and Dance.  They have been advertise as “Voodoo Gypsy Cabaret” on many of their Youtube clips, but what you see changes with each venue, song, province, and crowd. What is consistent in each Maria in the Shower show is pure talent and entertainment!
The Vancouver group will be making their return to Brandon for the first time since their 2010 BFMAF performance on Saturday, August 13th. They will be transforming the Double Decker with the mood, sounds, and groove of another time. Any band that makes the Accordion, Bass, Guitar, Drums, and Trumpet equally cool is alright with me. Tickets are $5 at the door and with a group as enticing as Maria in the Shower I am sure it will be a great crowd so get there early!
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