Ginger St. James

GingerStJamesThe evening was wonderful – even warm out for February – and I absolutely loved the venue This Ain’t Hollywood, located in Hamilton on the popular James Street North, where local artists and musicians can always be found roaming the streets, galleries, and bars with captivating amusement in their glossy eyes.

There is a lot going tonight, but I’m here for one reason, and one reason only; and that is to watch the much talked about singer/songwriter Ginger St. James perform.

Especially with a name like Ginger St. James, she sure lives up to the hype surrounding her! Her fire engine red hair is about as hot as her act. She is just gorgeous and dressed to kill. She is no saint, but a singing sinner with serious talent.

She started her career in Toronto as a member of Les Coquettes, one of the first burlesque troupes in Canada to revive the old vaudeville tradition. She was inspired to lead her own group in Hamilton, the Steeltown Sirens. And the doors have been opening ever since.

I showed up expecting to still see and hear the sultry sex goddess perform, but was surprise when I discovered that she has changed her act, and her music and is now moving towards the more fashionable ‘rockabilly’ scene.

She seems more gentle and a little quiet, sometimes it’s as though the lyrics are being forced out of her mouth, and her body language a little stiff. Her voice still sounds great, though, and you can tell she enjoys herself onstage, which only makes the audience all the more excited. If only I could turn up her mic or turn down the band backing her. All in all, I found this performance to be a little exasperating on my ears and not as uplifting as I was hoping for. I know she has it in her – I guess I was not prepared for the transition she has made. I do, however, regard her as very talented, and a wonderful guitar player.

Her new style is a mixture of rockabilly and country. Sounds of swing, blues, suburban jazz, and big band music is also recognized. The songs are simple, but good. I would have to say that ‘My Honey’ and ‘Furious’ were well done and well received. The crowded audience is definitely fond of St. James, and entertained by her band, as well.

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