Maddy Ringo (Starr)?

Maddy Ringo (Starr)?

Maddy Ringo, who is a Toronto native, came all the way home from Wisconsin to play at the Rivoli and to debut her brand new EP called Falcon Song. She brought her musical friends along from The University of Michigan to support her. They are an eight piece band. They all got up on stage and played an opening number only to leave again and Maddy stood alone with just her keyboard and guitar. She got on the keyboard and did a new song called, “Border Song”. It wasn’t the Elton John song but it was quite beautiful. I found this to be quite a brave little move as I could feel the nervous energy radiating from Maddy.  When the band entered the stage later in the set, I could feel their nervous energy as well. Maddy kept her cool and in that process she proceeded to purposely tell us terrible jokes. It really did help break the tension.

This young performer has been singing since she was six years old and eventually made her way into Children’s Opera Company at the age of fourteen. She is now focused on singing Americana Folk music. By bringing along seven other musicians I have a feeling she is trying to add a new flavour to this usually simpler form of music. This is an artist with a determined vision and you can sense the tight friendship she has with all the other members on stage.

When she strapped on her guitar again, she decided to do a Joni Mitchell song and that is where all her nervousness began to disappear. The character in her voice woke up and it was like hearing Joni from many moons go. She slowly began to bring the band back one at a time. The first person to climb the stage was a close friend with a guitar and then another friend with a guitar.  She went back to her first album called “Wake up Woman” and played Fear and Loathing that was inspired by Hunter Thompson.  She also introduced us to other original songs like “Talisman” and “The last Subway” which was about grieving love. If you are a young woman in this business you have to have a song about the pain of love in your repertoire.  It had that soft lilt of a very sad country song.

As the show grew deeper the band got bigger and eventually we had eight of them back and giving us the full sound experience. What made this show unique was the fact that they introduced different instruments like a banjo and an oboe.  Near the end of the evening she let us know as a folk talent, she couldn’t let us go until there was a strange little song about death. As they were on the last couple of songs the confidence was in full swing and the audience was reacting to this new found resoluteness. The last song of the night was a rousing version of the Animals, “House of the Rising Sun”.  It was a very successful choice as the audience ending up screaming for more and the encore now had to happen. Maddy may still be a student, but if she is hitting the road and recording, this is an artist that wants to hone her craft and the audiences that begin watching her now will be on an interesting journey to see where she will go next.

Here are some images of Maddy Ringo:

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