One of the most fun things we did while on our Thanksgiving vacation was getting to go see my sister, Brittany Jean, perform in concert in Chelan, WA. The place where she performed is an old theater called The Ruby Theater, which is an old stage theater that has been converted into a movie theater. But the stage is still there, in front of the screen, so it was just perfect for a concert. The Ruby is a beautiful setting, with that take-me-back-in-time sort of feel to it. It was certainly a cozy place to spend a couple of hours on a very chilly and blustery November evening.
But really, Brittany Jean could take a room made out of cardboard and turn it into something beautiful with her voice. Now, I am, understandably, rather biased… seeing as how Brittany is my little sister and I think she’s spectacular. But I have been to a few concerts here and there, and while I have heard fantastic musicians perform, and seen some dazzling light shows and displays, I cannot think of a musical event I have enjoyed as much as I enjoyed our “Evening at the Ruby.”
Brittany Jean has such a sweet spirit that goes well with her clear, beautiful voice. She doesn’t talk a ton during her concerts, but she makes sure to say a little something about each song she is performing and why she chose it or loves to sing it, or if it is one of her original songs she may give a little peek inside how or why it was written. There were a few songs of hers that I have been familiar with for years that I heard new insights into that evening, which was really fun.
Another thing that made the concert extremely enjoyable for me is that Brittany is perfectly comfortable with a little bit of chaos going on in her audience. Having gotten used to singing at county fairs, where people wander in for a little bit and then wander away again to get a snow-cone, and the sound of screams from nearby rides echoes across her stage, she was not at all bothered by the fact that about an hour into her show, my 2-year old decided he wanted to run up and down the aisle. And she grinned and acknowledged him when he really started to get into the cheering! (No worries, I made sure my kids weren’t too disruptive to the other concert-goers, but it was very nice that I didn’t feel like I had to keep Brant completely still and quiet, either).
One of the special treats of the evening was when Brittany had a friend named Paul Madden come up and join her on the stage to perform a few of her cover songs. The dynamic of getting to see her up there with a fellow musician was really fun. They joked and laughed and then they played one of the most beautiful renditions of “The Dance” by Garth Brooks that I have ever heard (and I like the original quite a lot!) as well as a few others. I’ve never really gotten to see Brittany perform with someone else, so that was really fun to get to experience.
The big exciting moments throughout the night though were the ones in which Brittany rolled out her three newest songs, which she just recorded in Nashville earlier this fall. I was teasing her a bit about not getting “my copy” of the songs in the mail, as I am accustomed to. Turns out, she wants to make it so that album #3 is more of a “fan experience” for ALL her fans… including family members! (I do understand this, as I don’t let just anyone read my rough drafts, either… but that doesn’t mean I didn’t bug her about it a little bit… I mean, I am her big sister, after all, if I’m not going to get advance copies I at least get to tease a little).
She introduced the first one by telling the audience that her niece, Nathalie, had told her that we had listened to her old songs over and over and we needed some new ones (I didn’t know Nathalie had said that, but I believe it. She’s my feisty one) and introduced one of her songs as, “So, Nathalie, this one’s for you.” Of course, Nathalie’s night was absolutely made, and she is convinced that the song was also written specifically for her!
These new songs… I am just constantly blown away by how Brittany’s lyrics and melodies keep getting better and better. Every new CD there’s at least one (usually more) song where I think, “This. This is my new favorite and nothing could be better.” And then I hear the next set of songs and have to revise my opinion. The same holds true with this first batch of songs that will eventually be on album #3. There is one that makes me laugh, one that makes me cry a little, and one that is simply heroically inspiring. I’m not going to tell you too much about them, but yesterday Brittany gave us all a huge Christmas gift and posted one of these new songs on her website. You can listen to it HERE! I love this song so much. I love how beautiful it is, how heroic it is, and how counter everything every other female country singer is pushing right now message-wise it is.
I have rarely spent a more enjoyable or magical evening. If you live in/near Washington, you should definitely keep an eye on Brittany’s Concert Schedule and try to catch one of her live performances, they are something truly special and unique. You will walk away with your spirit lifted… and perhaps a tear in your eye.
I also have to tell you that Brittany is having a major Christmas sale right now at her store. You can get either of her CDs for just $5 this week, so if you’ve been wanting to pick up a copy but hesitating… NOW is the time! They also make fabulous Christmas gifts!
On our way out of the theater, my brothers and I had to grab a sibling shot with our soon-to-be-super-famous-singer-songwriter sister.
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