Hay show puts local gal next to icon 

Who: Tessa Amy

Where: MY (Millennium) Place

When: Friday, March 26

Tickets: $17 - $20

All you Canadians out there I want you to imagine you’re a musician living in the land downunda’.

Now imagine a Canadian music icon coming through your Aussie town. Whoever you want. Burton Cummings from the Guess Who. Gordon Lightfoot. Geddy Lee. It doesn’t matter.

Now imagine you’re asked to open for them.

If you want to know exactly how surreal that would be track down Tessa Amy and ask her.

The local singer/songwriter is a transplanted Aussie who ended up in these parts after marrying a Canadian ski patroller and mountaineer. (In case you’re wondering Tessa Amy and Tessa McLoughlin are one and the same. There’s this other Vancouver-based solo female musician with a similar-sounding last name, hence our Tessa has decided to use her middle name on the marquee.)

Back in Western Australia she had a good touring career on the go, boosted by the release of her independent debut album Plasticos.

Relocating to Whistler as a newlywed she had to start from scratch, landing a job as a youth worker with Whistler Community Services and singing at open mic nights in her spare time.

The depths of her talent for performing and vocal arrangements were realized when Amy co-founded the Tuned Women showcase of original female performers last spring with MY Place staffer Gillie Easdon. The event continued its trajectory of excellence with last month’s Tuned Women II.

With both those shows on her Canadian resume, the open mics, and a performance at last month’s Celebration 2010 Whistler Arts Showcase Cultural Cabaret gala, it was a natural choice to make Amy the opening act for next Friday’s Colin Hay performance at MY Place.

You’re forgiven for asking, "who?" Amy originally did the same thing. But finding out that it was none other than the frontman for 1980s Aussie super-band Men At Work, made things a bit more interesting.

"The funny thing was, the week before that, I Come from the Land Downunder came on the radio, and I turned it up and I said to (husband) Adam, ‘that guy probably has the most noticeable voice in music history. He has such a unique, noticeable voice,’" she recalls.

"They’re an all-time classic Aussie band."

With Amy, Hay, and a ticket discount for their fellow countrymen the show is turning into a mini Aussie-fest of sorts.

Quite a way to go out. The show will be the last major performance by Amy around these parts for a while. As the winter season comes to a close, she’ll be moving down the corridor to Vancouver to pursue her music and theatre ambitions.

She’s going but not gone forever she promises. There’s a Tuned Women III on the horizon, and a wealth of other events and relationships that will maintain her strong ties with Whistler.

With her drive, determination and sparkling personality, who knows what’s ahead. By this time next year, Colin Hay might be opening for her.

Catch Tessa Amy along with Colin Hay next Friday, March 26 at MY Place. Tessa’s first up at 8 p.m.

Aussies take advantage of the student/senior ticket rate of $17. Regular adult tickets are $20.

For more information call 604-935-8410.


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