Saturday, July 07, 2012

Bec and Rusty at Irene's

Those of us who happened to be on the right email list got a real treat a week and a half ago when we saw Bec and Rusty at Irene's. Although Rusty (Russell Levia) lives in Ottawa, Bec (Rebecca Campbell) doesn't. I don't know when I last saw them perform together, maybe 1993? (Unless you count last year's Black Donnelly Sisters show where Russell joined in on a couple of songs.)

Pat Moore (hidden), Michael Ball , Russell Levia, Rebecca Campbell and Sally Robinson on the nice big stage at Irene's with sight-lines that are not blocked by support pillars
At this Irene's show there was a bit of tension before they sang the Three Bells, the song about the man whose life is measured by the chapel bells ringing in the village hidden deep in the valley among the pine trees half forlorn. Rebecca suggested that it was first performed by the Browns.

"No, Edith Piaf, I think," said Russell.

"I don't think so," said Rebecca.

I wasn't the only one who gasped. Sure, it sounds crazy that an American country classic like the Three Bells could have been debuted by Edith Piaf, but if Russell says a song he does was introduced by Piaf, you don't bet on the Browns.

According to Wikipedia, Piaf introduced Les Trois Cloches to America in 1945, and the Browns revitalized their career with the English version in 1959.

Youtube has a great video of Piaf singing Les Trois Cloches with les Compagnons de la Chanson.

If you have an Ottawa Public Libary card and you want your own legal MP3 copy:
  1. Log in at the Public Libary website 
  2. Explore digital music 
  3. Open Freegal and 
  4. Download your Edith Piaf's Les Trois Cloches 
  5. For your second song of 3 free songs this week, you might want to get the Browns' the Three Bells.

If you want a Russell Levia CD (and trust me, you do), you'll find some information at cleverocity.

You can also buy CDs from Russell at any of his gigs, but ask him for one before the show even starts. It makes Russell sad if he doesn't sell all the CDs he brings to a show, so he will bring like 5 or 10. People have been known to drive him home to get more, but that might not happen the night you go.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great evening.

Dave M. said...

It was!