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The Sweet Water Warblers

Venue: The Atkinson
Town: Southport
Date: 26/08/17

I had anticipated that this was going to be good, but tonight's show by the Sweet Water Warblers exceeded my expectations by a considerable margin. Billed as "Lindsay Lou and The Sweet Water Warblers", this fabulous trio features three supremely talented female singer/songwriter/musicians, namely Lindsay Lou Rilko, Rachel Davis and May Erlewine. All three originate from the Great Lakes State of Michigan [although Rachel and Lindsay Lou now live in Nashville]. The band's name has a connection with Lake Michigan, as when French explorers first arrived at the Lake, they thought it was still part of the sea were amazed that the water was sweet rather than salty, hence "Sweet Water Warblers".

As well as their exceptional songwriting skills and multi-instrumental prowess, what sets the 'Warblers apart from other groups is their amazing vocal abilities. Their voices blend effortlessly to create the most sublime harmonies ,especially when singing a cappella ,as they did several times tonight, beginning with their superb version of Billy Hill's 1936 song "The Glory of Love".

This evening's marvellous performance featured original songs and some choice covers , including Randy Weeks' "Can't Let Go" [as made famous by Lucinda Williams] ,a stirring version of Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home To Me" and a glorious gospel rendition of Sister Rosetta Tharpe's "Up Over My Head".

However, what really impressed me were the original songs ,particularly those from The Warblers' five track debut EP "With You". Rachel explained how she was asked to write an Appalachian Mountain banjo song for a Zombie-Killer video game ! What resulted was the superb song "Lazarus".

Lindsay Lou wrote the gorgeous opening track "Sing Me A Song" , an a cappella beauty which features the most luscious harmonies ,as demonstrated on stage tonight.

May Erlewine contributes two wonderful songs to the EP , "Too Soon" and "With You Tonight", and it was great to hear them performed live.

Overall , this evening's performance ,with such wonderful harmony singing, was simply stunning. If you get the chance to see The Sweet Water Warblers live, don't pass it up!

Peter Cowley

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