“Blues is my life. It’s a true feeling that comes from the heart, not something that just comes out of my mouth. Blues is what I love, and blues is what I always do.” Koko Taylor
The first time I saw Ada Dahli was at the Blackout Party back in August. The weather was a bit chilly, she was sitting on the street and playing her acoustic guitar, there were only a few people around her. I sat down next to her on the ground, closed my eyes and listened to her tremendous voice for about a half an hour. Few days after, I had the opportunity to watch her band The Pallbearers at Silver Dollar Room and they literally rocked the stage! As I was very impressed by their live performance and dearly fond of great music, I started stalking them.
To save you from the troubles of stalking; Ada Dahli & The Pallbearers is formed by Ada Dahli (vocal, guitarist), Marlon Chaplin (guitar, piano, vocal), Charlie Crenshaw (bass) and Galen Pelley (drums). The band was founded back in 2011, since then they have been playing at various venues in Toronto. In August, they announced on their Facebook page that they were going to play at Not My Dog in the month of September. I brought it up to the table in deary music’s weekly meetings. Mustafa instantly suggested on covering their show as he already knew about the band.
On the gig day, we arrived to the venue pretty early that’s why we had the opportunity to meet the band members in person. They let us capture some shots before the show. According to the Facebook event, the gig was supposed to start at 10 pm but we were told that they were not going to play until 11.45 pm. It was quite challenging but we hanged in there! We grabbed few drinks and listened to previous performances.
They took the stage around 11.45 pm as they promised. They started the first set with “Where Are You”, continued with “Mama”, “Down in the Hole (Tom Waits cover)”, “Lord Knows”, “Keep in Mind”, “Hotel Yorba (the White Stripes cover)”, “Yeller Dream” and ended with “Island”. The first song, “Where Are You” is a slow tempo song of their own with candid and clever lyrics as most of their songs are very well written with beautiful folk-blues tunes. But overall we liked their song “Mama” the best; it has really great guitar riffs which would definitely wreak your chest out and feast your ears if you’d been there! Beside slow tempo songs, they also played high tempo songs such as “Hotel Yorba” of White Stripes as everyone knows the song. Everyone at the room sang and dance with the band.
After a half an hour break, they started the second set with “What is Life” which made people move along with the music, they continued with Long Black Veil (Lefty Frizzell cover), “Every Girl Is My Jolene”, “Motherless Child (Barbecue Bob cover), “Bound To Pack It Up (the White Stripes cover)”, “Gambler’s Woes” and “Long Way Down”. As you may realized they very much like playing White Stripes, well, who doesn’t like them? The most important point is they are pretty good at playing cover songs. We believe that it is not a very easy skill to build . In general, the audience tends to compare the band’s performance with the original piece which could be quite challenging for most of the musicians but Ada Dahli & The Pallbearers play cover songs very well; almost blow them away. During the second set the crowd crawled with delight while Ada was singing “Every Girl Is My Jolene”. Overall, the performance was really soulful and mesmerizing. Moreover, the band members are so approachable and humble. You’ll probably end up grabbing drinks with them after the show. If you are curious about their live performance, check our video out! You may also want to take a look at their Facebook page. Their music is totally worth listening!
Itir & Mustafa