New Music – Little Miss Higgins
Somewhat amazingly it has taken until the recent relaunch of her fourth album from April 2010 for the music of Little Miss Higgins to catch my radar.
Little Miss Higgins (aka Jolene Higgins) was born in Brooks, Alberta.
The blues, folk and jazz performer was however in fact raised in Independence, Kansas prior to moving back north. Now based in Saskatchewan the singer-songwriter strikes out in a wonderful, cultured style as she showcases her fine work on guitar as well as vocals.
Supported by her partner, Foy Taylor (guitar), Joey Lorer (upright bass), Joanna Miller (drums), Jimmie James McKee (trumpet) and others the music contains a great vibrancy as her and the band swing through a varied set of tunes including some splendid ones of a ragtime nature.
There is a rare live feel to the new album “Across The Plains” the 1930s come to mind as she continually prompts and probes boundaries to produce a huge joyful sound.
‘Glad Your Whiskey Fits Inside My Purse’ could just as easily come from America’s infamous prohibition era as the listener is taken on a whistle stop trip through that period in time.
“Glad Your Whiskey Fits Inside My Purse” – Little Miss Higgins
Her stage name, Little Miss Higgins suits the undeniably inflammatory mix of her blues and country music repertoire but the moniker was largely accidental. “When I moved to Saskatchewan in 2002 I started hanging out with this Greek guy,” she recalls “He started calling me Little Miss Higgins so I used it on poster for a gig I was doing and it just stuck.”
As a songwriter, she has been influenced by a range of artists from Memphis Minnie, Billie Holiday, Big Bill Broonzy to Joni Mitchell, Dolly Parton and Bob Dylan.
Her first two studio albums “Cobbler Shop Sessions” (2006) and “Junction City” (2007) superbly showcase Little Miss Higgins as a highly-developed songwriter as well as a remarkable country blues performer in a style gracefully highlighted by her partner, guitarist Foy Taylor and occasionally a handful of other roots musicians.
To her fan’s delight, there was the 2009 release “Little Miss Higgins Live: Two Nights In March”. The album was recorded at Amigo’s Cantina in Saskatoon, and Engineered Air Theatre in Calgary. The album features such favourite performance fare as “The Dirty Ol Tractor Song,” “Velvet Barley Bed,” “In The Middle Of Nowhere” and “I’m Gonna Bake My Biscuits.” As well as a couple of previously unreleased songs including “Snowin’ Today: A Lament For Louis Riel.”
“I’m Gonna Bake My Biscuits” (Live) – Little Miss Higgins
With her newest release, “Across The Plains” and partner Foy Taylor, Little Miss Higgins now enters international waters with a tour to the UK in the spring of 2011.
To buy the music of Little Miss Higgins click HERE
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