Written by Eddie Ferranti
Nov 15, 2008 at 08:00 PM
ImageGot to catch a gig at one of the highlights of 2008 last Saturday, The Almost Austin Concert House. Rosie & I have been huge regulars at Kenny Pipes’ “Almost Austin House Concerts” in Pasadena, Texas through out the year. This fine evening he had 2 young ladies from Austin performing, Wendy Colonna and Ginger Leigh. If you know this reviewer at all you know that I’ve always been partial to lady rockers. So Saturday I went without knowing anything at all about these women, but trusting Mr. Pipes’ direction in music. To our delight, yet another “home run” was hit out the park this night!

Wendy kicked off the evening with a set that was soulful and sweet. This lady has called Austin her home for the past seven years. She’s from Louisiana and that influence mixed with A-Town saavy generated a cool mix of soul, blues and funkiness. On her resume is being named 2005’s KGSR artist of thee year, no small potatoes there. Guy Forsyth and Shelley King have turned up on her recordings, too. Wendy blends her “other” job of being a yoga instructor with her music backbone, quite different indeed. This chick gives you the feeling she can survive any situation and I’d surely not want to cross her path! Hell, she’s a bad ass kick boxer. Enuff said.

Colonna has a blaster of a voice that get’s your attention and lulls you back to a place of admiration like no lady performer has taken me quite frankly in a long while. She has 3 CD’s and I did not know which one I should get, so I might just grab all 3! Girl has a “Yoga to Go” DVD out, too. Probably the best part of my first go around with this woman is that she kept the music out front first and foremost and let her sassy sexuallity sell itself if you will. Albeit selling panties at the break was a classic! When I got home I immediately joined her e-mail list so I can keep an eye on this slick chick in the future…

Next up was a completely different kettle of fish in Ginger Leigh. I’d heard her name a lot, but never had the pleasure of catching her live gig. That will change from now on.  This lady brought a ball busting personality right out of the gate and never let up. She’s a self motivator deluxe for sure. Her successes include a major distribution with S4 Records, sponsorships with Advanced Micro Devices, live gig on Oprah Winfrey’s Oxygen Media, thousands of shows around the world and a clothing line to boot!  Whew!

Lots of Bette Midler balls on this lady, but blended with ROCK of a Joan Jett and smoothness of Bonnie Raitt.  Antics abounded in a way that had me laughing as much as I was enjoying the music being presented. Laughing is good for the soul and GL provided plenty of both that and her straight forward up tempo music. Her latest” “Don’t Be Shy” was quite good stuff indeed. Ginger pulls no punches and expects the audience to follow suit, which quite fortunately I was “pulled” into some banter that helped the gig rather than hurt it. I feel honored to be part of AA and did not want to steal any thunder from the performers themselves, but Ginger had fun with it and so did I. FUN was thee operative word of this whole evening.

When the two ladies took the stage for the final set, it was sweet as hell. Just hearing the version of Concrete Blond’s “Joey” was stunning and well worth the price of admission.  Toss in the usual most delicious grub-Chef Daniel’s chicken and dumplings was on tap this night-and you’ve got a can’t miss evening of up close music and fun…As the Godfather of House Concerts, Mr.Pete Cronquist stated at the night’s end, “This gig was ALL about fun!”  The house concerts on House Street are that and more folks!  Why not come out and check first hand for yourself?!  You won’t be sorry…God Bless y’all and CYA wherever good LIVE music is.