New Denver siblings Doug and Shelly Thring took to the Bonnington Arts Centre stage on Oct. 15 for their show Everythring Blues.
Doug kicked things off with a few solo pieces, including Ray Charles’ Rollin’ With My Baby, Unchain My Heart, and Who Will Comfort Me?
Shelly soon joined her brother on stage, singing Amy Winehouse’s version of Valerie and If it Hadn’t Been for Love before moving away from the blues to perform Fleetwood Mac’s Songbird, which proved to be a great hit with the audience.
The two bantered back and forth between songs. One quip from Doug that got a chuckle was about the rapt attention from the audience.
“It’s awfully quiet out there, holy crap,” he said.
For Doug, the Bonnington is a very different venue from the bars and restaurants where he normally plays.
“It’s a little disconcerting playing in front of people who are just watching,” he said. “You get this feeling that they’re watching your every move, so it’s a little more nerve wracking than when you’re playing in front of people that aren’t focused on you.”
A great variety of songs and genres were covered throughout the evening, from If I Had You, which originally came out in 1928, to Baby Please Don’t Go, one of the most recorded songs in the history of blues and the inspiration for Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Susie Q, to the Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter.
Doug’s version of Gimme Shelter is different than the original. There isn’t the seemingly urgent frenzy to his performance, but at times there is the desperation of the need to find shelter from the various storms in life.
The duo followed this up with Bob Dylan’s To Make You Feel My Love.
The Thrings have been singing since they were children.
“We had family sing-songs, always, with both sides of the family,” said Shelly. “Our grandma on our dad’s side was quite an opera singer, and our grandmother on our mom’s side was the choir director at the church and played the organ, and she had beautiful singing voice too.”