The engaging Good Lovelies perform Jan. 21st at Fratters.
They’ll be singing tunes not just from their extensive repertoire, but from their latest project Burn the Plan which was released just last spring. The ladies first toured the project in Germany to rave reviews and reception.
“The audiences in Germany are out for a good time, very supportive of live music and very supportive of music that they’ve never heard of before,” explains Kerri Ough (vocals/guitar/banjo/keyboard/bass). “Audiences also like encores, for example, to the power of three,” she laughs. “They’ll keep bringing you back out, so it was a really inspiring tour that way as well.”
Rounding out the group are Caroline Brooks (vocals/guitar/mandolin/banjo/bass) and Sue Passmore (vocals/guitar/bass/percussion).
What makes Burn The Plan special is there’s a new spirit of adventurousness that gives it an extra spark.
“It’s not that we were looking for it to be something, it’s that we were trying to be ourselves,” said Ough. “It was less about, ‘Let’s make this fit into a mold as the Good Lovelies’ and more about being Kerri, Caroline and Sue just making music the way we would have done if no one had any expectations of what we had done before.”
Even the old time underpinnings of Old Fashioned and When the City Settles have a new polish, confidence and depth. Open Windows is yet another charmer, as is the laid-back, reflective When the City Settles.
The slowed down, plaintive nature of Watching TV also seems an ideal and fitting way to wrap up the compelling CD.
“We’re proud of the talents that we each brought to the table and the magic comes also in being stoked about singing each other’s songs,” she said.
In selecting what to record for Burn the Plan, it came down to listening to what each Lovely provided and seeing when everyone’s eyes would light up. There were a pile of fresh new tunes to check out, but they carefully pared it down to the perfect ones to include knowing that other gems they had written could pop up on future recordings.
The project was produced by Les Cooper, but the ladies certainly had a hand in guiding the project as it came to fruition as well. “He’s got so many great ideas that we could really have three different versions of the same song.
“But ultimately, the original writer of the song has veto power,” she explained, noting it might be observed that yes, a particular tune sounds great as a jazz number, but works best in a pop style.
Meanwhile, what keeps the three Lovelies making music together is not just their uncanny vocal compatibility; it’s their unshakable friendships, too.
Good to go with a pile of instruments, a repertoire of both ‘sassy and sophisticated’ songs and an irrepressible, effervescent sense of humour these three can’t help but charm even the toughest, most weathered audiences.
It all started during a Christmas gig back in late 2006, says Ough.
The three performers, who were working primarily as solo artists at the time, got together on stage for a few numbers and their chemistry was striking. Requests for gigs came in steadily over the next few months, and the Good Lovelies officially formed a few months later.
“I think it was serendipitous,” adds Ough, pointing out that none of the girls were looking to team up with other artists at the time. It was just one of those magical, pivotal times. It also helps that they were good friends before they formed The Good Lovelies.
That fact alone shines through in their comfort level onstage and ease when engaging with audiences.
“We go onstage, connect with the audience, get a laugh, perhaps see a tear or two,” says a clearly grateful Ough.
“There is nothing that feels better to me than to be singing with two people who I love and trust.”
Passmore and Ough first met in a Grade 2/3 split class many moons ago.
It wasn’t until Passmore’s final year of high school where they really started to spend a lot of time together.
They were in the same choir for years, and discovered a mutual love for songwriting and performing. Ough accompanied Passmore on some gigs in her hometown, and a big crowning performance moment for them was when they performed Alanis Morissette’s song Uninvited during an assembly honouring retiring teachers.
Passmore and Brooks met in 2000, through a mutual friend Yvonne Howard. Years later, Passmore would open for Brooks and her sister’s band (The Brooks Sisters) CD release show.
Ough and Brooks met through Passmore a couple of years before the Good Lovelies began.
Ough, new to Toronto, opened the show and played her new solo music. The Brooks Sisters played next, performing songs from their debut album. And Passmore, with her band, closed the show.
Eventually, December of 2006 rolled around and the three of them set up a show as soloists, where they would perform on each others’ songs. A solid partnership was born.
Ultimately, after nine years of recording and hitting the road to take their music to the masses, the Lovelies are as enthusiastic as ever. Taking the tunes to audiences all over the place is enormously fun, but so are the opportunities for the three friends to get together as they all live in different parts of the country.
“When we get back together it’s like, ‘Oh, there we are’,” she laughs. “There are my best friends. We all miss each other quite a lot.”