Northern Saskatchewan offers many treasures to the world. There is the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame in the Western Development Museum, worth the drive to Saskatoon anytime. Legumes, Saskatchewan grows more legumes than the rest of Canada combined (pun intended). The Saskatoon-based University of Saskatchewan is home to Canada’s first and only synchrotron; bet you didn't know that! Rosie & the Riveters, emerging from a cabin in northern Saskatchewan, shine brighter than a synchrotron. They are the most recent treasure to emerge from this corner of the world.
Rosie & the Riveters are Farideh Olsen, Alexis Normand, and Allyson Reigh and they gave us Good Clean Fun on their first album in 2016. For their sophomore, they are Ms. Behave[ing]. (There was a live album between these two original recordings.) It is difficult to avoid comparisons to The Andrews Sisters with the smooth three-part harmony that Rosie & the Riveters serve up. The Andrews Sisters sang to encourage servicemen during World War II and to promote the sale of government bonds, earning them the title of "Sweethearts of the Armed Forces Radio Service."
Rosie & the Riveters sing to give women a voice in a man's world, a battle with undoubtedly as many victims as WWII. The lyrics are playful, like a kitten. It may seem like fun, but you will get scratched. This record will challenge as it pushes and pulls. It is sturdy while maintaining the femininity of womanhood. They Ms. Behave while asking you to be "Good To Me," so they can be good to you. Helen Reddy sang "I Am Woman" in 1971. Rosie & the Riveters sing "I Wanna Be King" in 2018.
I love this record, for the harmony, for the lyrics, for the production, and for the message. It is foot tapping, head nodding and heart-wrenching all the way through, with a bit of humour here and there. I look forward to seeing them live when they come to Edmonton this May 4th at The Aviary. This release, produced by Joshua Van Tassel (Sarah Slean, Rose Cousins, Great Lake Swimmers), has elements of swing, gospel, R&B and even folk music. A treasure from Northern Saskatchewan, check it out on iTunes or physical copies from their web shop.
Norman Weatherly | weatheredmusic.ca