10 Aug 2022

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Jackie Bristow - Gig Review: Jackie Bristow @ The Boathouse, Nelson - 14/02/2020

15 Feb 2020 // A review by jacquiew

There was a lot to love about Jackie Bristow’s performance at The Boathouse in Nelson.

The Boathouse has got to be one of the most spectacular settings in New Zealand for a music venue. It's right on the seafront and with twinkling strings of white fairy lights on the walls, the sun going down during the first set, and an attentive, if slightly on the small side (undeservedly so) audience hanging on every word, if it doesn’t epitomise the perfect Valentine’s Day night out I don’t know what does.

Bristow herself is a truly class act. She is an accomplished, highly professional performer with a truly memorable and powerful country/folk voice. She held the audience’s attention on stage solo with ease with not a loop pedal in sight and handled a string breaking mid tuning with aplomb.

Bristow is currently based in Nashville and has done years of hard work plying her trade as a singer-songwriter in the USA since 2005, after getting her start in her hometown, New Zealand’s country music heartland town of Gore.

The sound quality during the concert did Jackie’s talent proud. It was the best balance of vocals and instrument I’ve heard at The Boathouse, which can sometimes be a challenging venue sonically.

Bristow has a rich back catalogue from which to draw and took the audience on a journey through previous albums including Shot of Gold and Freedom and introduced us to new material, including the single she is releasing on 14 February USA time, Blue Moon Rising from which her current tour takes its name.

I particularly enjoyed one of her earlier songs Crazy Love, produced by Larry Klein and Shaking In My Bones, which opened the second set. Shock of Love, sung with her sister Katrina, who joined her on stage twice, was also excellent. The sisters two voices are wonderful together and I enjoyed the lower notes that Katrina contributed to the sound, which provided a lovely bed for Jackie’s voice.

The stand out moment of the night for me, however, was a song Jackie performed using a poem written by an unknown ANZAC soldier called Fallen Youth. It was really wonderful and revealed to me the true impact Jackie could have as a singer with powerful, challenging lyrics at her disposal.

This is not meant as a criticism of her self-penned lyrics but is rather intended as a request to dig deeper lyrically and vocally for the truly gritty and the deeply moving, for the real heart and pathos which could take Bristow to a whole new level. I really yearn for that album and I hope it’s coming soon.

Meanwhile, there’s nothing wrong with the references to rocking chairs, running mascara and similar country music tropes – it’s just that I’ve got a feeling Jackie Bristow has so much more to say than that and all the talent in the world with which to say it.

Catch Jackie Bristow on tour if you can. She is really worth your time and your support.


About Jackie Bristow

After signing a production deal with Sydney based label Craving Records, Jackie Bristow set about to record her album Crazy Love with mixer/engineer Helik Hadar (Rufus Wainwright, Madelein Peyroux, Joni Mitchell) and producer/engineer Mark Howard (Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams, Marianne Faithfull, Sheryl Crow). With an incredible lineup of musicians including Australia's finest guitarist Mark Punch (Renee Geyer) along with international luminaries Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell), Larry Goldings (James Taylor), Tim Pierce (Rod Stewart, Tom Petty), Jay Bellarose (Aimee Mann), Zak Rae (Alanis Morissette) and more, the result has been a tour de force of stunning new material and a fresh new sound.

Jackie Bristow recently secured the support for legendary producer/guitarist/ composer Daniel Lanois on his recent Australian tour of April 2006. The run of shows took place in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

Relocating from New Zealand to Sydney, Australia in 1995, Jackie worked tirelessly for five years, writing songs, recording demos and performing across the city, all the while developing her own voice. A break came when her demo reached Michael Gudinski Management, resulting in a publishing deal with Mushroom Music and a recording contract with Gudinskis Liberation Records.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Jackie Bristow


Year: 2022
Type: Album
Shot Of Gold
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Crazy Love
Year: 2007
Type: Album
Year: 2002
Type: Album

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