Ottawa native Amanda Rheaume takes the stage Nov. 15 for an intimate performance in Bozzini’s upstairs lounge.
Songwriters sometimes create their most inspiring work by turning their attention to their own family history. Roots-Americana artist Amanda Rheaume is adding to the canon with Keep a Fire, a varied and evocative collection of mostly story-songs about her forebears that more than lives up to the tradition of larger than life family-of-origin albums.
Rheaume pays tribute to her Métis ancestry with the song, Keep a Fire in the Rain, a pulsing piece about her grandfather and Ojibway great-grandmother who lived exactly halfway between the reserve and the mine site in God’s Lake, MB – because the mixed-race couple wasn’t welcome in either community.
It’s her second full-length album and the follow-up to 2011’s Light of Another Day, but Rheaume was already a music-making veteran by the time of Light’s release.
Possessed of a powerful, slightly gritty and slightly Alanis-like singing voice and an ear for catchy melodies and instantly-accessible roots-pop arrangements, Rheaume began releasing EPs in 2007, culminating in a fundraising Christmas collection for Boys and Girls Clubs of Ottawa that sold 6500 copies locally. She’s performed for the troops in Afghanistan and raised money on tour for the families of military personnel, and for breast cancer.
Amanda Rheaume makes her Chilliwack debut Friday Nov. 15 at Bozzini’s Upstairs. Showtime is 9:30 p.m. tables are available from 8 p.m. on. Tickets are $15 at the restaurant or call 604 792-0744.