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Danser brings rocking, rollicking show to 'positively magical' Arden

Her new album One Eye Open came out last year and is already big in Europe.
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Kat Danser is the answer for 'what should we do on the last Friday of the month'? Get thee to the Arden and let the chanteuse belt out some beautiful, butt-shaking tunes.

The new year has been good to roots and blues chanteuse Kat Danser. Barely a week into January, she was heralded with high praise from Europe for her album One Eye Open. It came in at the No. 6 spot for top 40 blues albums of 2021 while the lead song, Way I Like It Done, was No. 17 for the top 40 blues singles.

“It's a really wonderful thing to have the album (which consists of so many creative talents) show up for all of us,” she began, barely holding back how pleasing the news was even if it came with a catch.

“[It gives us a] little fire, especially because this album came out during the pandemic. We haven't been able to tour it really at all. This gig ... I thought we were going to be in Toronto just before this Arden show, but Toronto has had to reschedule their blues awards till June because of omicron.”

She’s also up for a Maple Blues Award nomination for Songwriter of the Year. Those awards get announced just before her date in town here on June 24. The Arden stage was originally meant to be the venue for Danser to debut One Eye Open, which would have been a full calendar year since it dropped. She has since played gigs supporting the album elsewhere. Precluding COVID waves aside, our audiences still get to revel in the silk-and-bourbon beauty of her music. One Eye Open is her sixth release, which gets hip-checked up to 10th if you count the other collaborative albums she has appeared on.

This set is a blast of juicy tunes from the peppy quartet. Not being able to play it and sway on stage must have been akin to holding on to a box of Mexican jumping beans for 12 months. There must be enough bottled energy stored up to make the show a blast of fresh air and some welcome mojo.

Those creative talents she speaks of include her lead guitarist and band leader, Jimmy Guiboche, who’s her co-inductee into the Blues Hall of Fame. Then there are her two Calgarians: bassist Chris Brzezicki and drummer “Mr. Cool” — Kat’s words — Kelly Kruse.

The hidden member of the band is long-term producer Steve Dawson who runs Black Hen Music out of Nashville. Nothing beats being on a Music City label, Danser said, it helps that Dawson is also a top-notch guy, one whom she couldn’t speak highly enough about.

“He's like the Ry Cooder of our era. He's the best.”

Stepping on stage will be a triumphant moment for them all, she said.

“Oh my god, we can hardly [wait]. We're chomping at the bit to get together. And the band is rockin’,” she said, singing the praises of the very stage she'll be gracing.

“What I'm really excited about first of all is to perform in that theatre. I started my musical listening in the Arden … the very first concert I went to, oh my God, must have been like ‘92 or ’93 whenever Susan Aglukark was really big. I saw my first concert at the Arden and I was just stunned, moving from Saskatchewan to Edmonton at that time. That was major and there is just nothing like it. It's really warm to play in. The staff are super pro. It's uncomplicated and the audience is always fantastic every time. And the previous two times we played there, we sold those shows out. It was just positively magical because when you have an audience that pays attention like the Arden audiences do, and are so committed to arts in their community, it's just major for a performer."

Kat Danser and the Tall Tales take the Arden stage starting at 7:30 p.m. on June 24. Tickets are $28 each (before taxes and fees) and are available through the Arden box office at 780-459-1542 or at stalbert.ca/exp/arden/tickets-box-office.

Visit ardentheatre.com to learn how public-health measures might affect the show.


Scott Hayes

About the Author: Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns, and profiles on people.
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