Coolidge Is No Basic Lady In Salamanca

Rita Coolidge
Seneca Allegany Events Center
Salamanca, NY
Saturday February 11, 2012
By Joseph Suto

Rita Coolidge played the Seneca Allegany Events Center this past Saturday evening. The show took on a Valentine theme with it being only a few days away. The appreciative crowd were treated to an awesome band delving through Ms. Coolidge’s songbook with such precision. “The Delta Lady” as she is known by delivered a set that reached as far back as “Born Under A Bad Sign” from her 1971 debut album.

Rita’s band was solid with drummer/vocalist Lynn Coulter and bassist Randy Landas making up the rhythm section. Keyboardist Mary Ekler and guitarist/music director John McDuffie comprised the remainder of the band. Coulter also took time out from behind the kit to perform “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” center stage with Rita. He also sang the Kris Kristofferson part of the song “Loving Arms”.

Rita has seemed to take good care of her voice over the years as evidenced by her performance. Songs that stood out were “We’re All Alone”, “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher” and the encore of “I’d Rather Leave While I’m in Love”. She even dug out the Allen Toussaint song “Basic Lady” from her 1981 offering Heartbreak Radio.

Afterwards Rita signed copies of the CD’s she had available for purchase. I was able to chat with her after the show for a few minutes. She reiterated how the best part of being on tour is the time she is on the stage singing and interacting with the audience. The only downside of the whole day was how her luggage arrived at the venue just in time for the show.

Set List

Hallelujah I Love Him So
Come Rain or Come Shine
Basic Lady
I Thought About You
Late Again
Who’s to Bless And Who’s To Blame
Loving Arms
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Funny Valentine
We’re All Alone
Born Under a Bad Sign
Fever / The Way You Do The Things You Do / How Sweet It Is
Amazing Grace (Cherokee Anthem)
(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher
I’d Rather Leave While I’m in Love

Thanks to Tony Astran for making it possible to review this show.

About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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