Written by Eddie Ferranti
Jan 08, 2010 at 07:30 PM
ImageGot to kick off the new year of 2010 with a snazzy lady named Wendy Colonna at one of our favorite haunts, the Mucky Duck. This was Rosie & I’s third go around with her and the first time we’d seen her with a keyboard player by the name of Dave Madden. Her sidekick guitar guru, Chad Pope, was also in tow this night.

Colonna is a person who just comes right at you no matter if it is her singing or her hugs! To say she has an engaging personality would be an understatement. She is a woman of many passions which include yoga, peace, education, healing arts, preserving beauty and dignity, and oh yeah, a talented musician!

Colonna kicked the evening off with “Oh My Love” and followed with “I Wait for the Sun,” which found her tuning up her vocal range. It was on her 4th tune that the night really took hold. With the segway of “I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now” to “October I’m in Love Alone,” the woman was “Billie Holiday without the heroin” to me! Effortless soul sound.

“Easy” followed that and this is where Mr. Madden showed up on the ivorys. Wendy then said let’s do “May Day” to which Chad responded “Didn’t we just do that number?!” It was a hiccup that Colonna breezed past professionally and then did a drifting lazy rhythmic version of “Leaving on a Jet Plane” with Madden even making rain sounds on the keyboards. Sweet stuff. An Ike and Tina Turner tune “I Don’t Mind Someday” (I think), “Louisiana” (New record tune) and “Hurricane” found Chad turning it up with some nice slide work. This led to intermission which quite frankly the crowd of blabbers needed. It is a problem that has been eroding this fine venue’s gigs for the past 2 years or so and does the bands no justice at all.

When Wendy came back and started slamming wine out of a glass as big as life, the 2nd set just ruled the night!  Her Louisiana roots began to ooze out of her in the smokey “Shadows Become Light” that beckoned a CCR swamp boogie feel that fits her to a tee. “Texas Summer Love” and “Right Where I Belong”  found her “rubber face” expressions in full swing as she did her best growling Bonnie Raitt sound.  Nice indeed.

By this time the fun -and beer- we’re kickin’ in big time on this reviewer and the Duck just picked up. The blabbing had calmed down for this set which was cool, too. “These Days” was sent out to resident house concert guru, Kenny Pipes, of Almost Austin Concert Series and it was touching. A real highlight was when Colonna did a “no harmonica” harmonica solo on “I Ain’t Gonna Be Your Low Down Dawg No More”. “Nothing Gonna Take My Love From Me” was an all out guitar/ keyboard assault with an Aretha Franklin feel and the place just came alive! Hell, Chad’s homemade coconut shell guitar pick dinged me in the dome on that one !! Classic.

The killer evening ended with a rousing “Halleluja” that was a fitting ending to say the least. All in all, this gig brought home the bacon. Colonna was playing the Mucky Duck for the first time and packed the joint on a frigid night in H-Town. No small deed for sure. In closing, her bandmates are good, but Colonna IS the straw stirring this drink my friends. Grab a seat next time she slides into a venue near you…A special shout out to Mr Music, James Killen, for his contributions to this review, too.  God Bless and CYA “somewhere” where music is happenin’ !