Oregon Music News: Oregon’s all-genre music magazine since 2009


She's Speaking, Alberta Rose Theatre, March 25, 2023 / Review

By BOB HOWARD // She's Speaking Roars into Stumptown

On Saturday, March 25 Portland rocked to the songs of the cast of She’s Speaking. Eight performers took the stage, cheered on by a standing room only audience at the Alberta Rose Theater. The energy in the room was palpable. They sang to an energized, fervent, and passionate crowd. The power of their songs was fueled the by the force of their convictions. They sent their message straight into the hearts and minds of all in attendance.

She’s Speaking is the brainchild of three prominent singer songwriters living in Oregon, Bre Gregg, Kristen Granger and Beth Wood, all with award winning credentials. Taking words from their website, “She’s Speaking grew out of a sense of isolation many performing songwriters experienced during the global pandemic. It started as a YouTube channel of mostly iPhone videos submitted by more than 60 amazing women songwriters performing songs, they’d composed during the pandemic about women who inspired them.” (https://shesspeakingsongs.com)

This year’s cast from left to right as they appeared on stage was Liz Chibucos, LaRhonda Steele, Bre Gregg, Kristen Grainger, Beth Wood, Arietta Ward, Naomi LaViolette, and Lisa Mann serving double duty as a member of the cast and on bass with the band. Each song sung was personal. Each song came with a story. Songs and tributes to experiences, mentors and artists that influenced their music. They brought the audience joy, tears, and to their feet.

Here are some of the songs and stories they told.

• Liz Chibucos, “Modern Woman”, her song about life on the road and at the merch table.
• La Rhonda Steele, “New Name” co-written with Ed Snyder from their album “Yes Please.” *(2019)
• Bre Gregg, “I am Woman”. From her new album “Live it All” with Red Bird (2023)
• Kristen Grainger, channeled the iconic Chrissie Hynde singing the Pretenders hit “Middle of the Road”, harkening back to high school in the day, singing in her brother’s rock & roll band.
• Beth Word, “Easy on Me” from her album “Sometimes Love” (2014)
• Arietta Ward, “In My Mind (Ettaisms)”, her signature song and tribute to her mother, from her record “Arietta” (2020)
• Lisa Mann sang Melissa Manchester’s “Come in From the Rain”, in remembrance of her mother’s prompting to go together to karaoke venues at in her hometown to sing songs that her mom loved.
• Naomi LaViolette sang her song “Butterfly” in a duet with Beth that she released on October 15, 2019, in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day.
• Encore sung by all! “Full Growed Woman” from LaRhonda Steele’s “Yes Please” album recorded with Ed Snyder.

The admiring crowd was deeply engaged, and no one left with an empty heart.

The artists:
Liz Chibucos https://www.facebook.com/lizchibucosmusic/music
LaRhonda Steele https://larhondasteele.com
Bre Gregg https://redbirdsoul.com/home
Kristen Grainger https://www.truenorthband.com
Beth Wood https://www.bethwoodmusic.com
Arietta Ward https://www.mzettasworld.com
Lisa Mann https://www.lisamannmusic.com
Naomi LaViolette https://www.naomilmusic.com

The band:
Dan Gildea, Guitar
Dan Wetzel, Guitar
Ward Griffiths, Drums
Lisa Mann, Bass

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