By Hayden McBennett, October 16 2014 —
Rosie and the Riveters is a vintage-clad women’s quartet who perform a mix of traditional and original gospel tunes. Delivered with “scintillating choreography, body percussion, complex harmony, humour and the charm of the 1940s,” each performance is a unique experience, says Allyson Reigh, the newest member of the group.
“We don’t just get up there and sing our songs. We have choreography and banter and jokes,” Reigh says.
The Riveters are based out of Saskatoon, where the group originated. Formed in 2011, they have performed at over 80 music and arts festivals around Canada. Reigh notes that the group’s variety-show format sometimes makes it difficult for them to find appropriate venues.
“Since we don’t just sing, it can be hard to find bigger festivals that will have us. We might not work at a festival like Osheaga, but Rosie and the Riveters have played at many smaller festivals,” Reigh says.
Inspiration for the group comes from female musicians of the ’40s and from Rosie the Riveter, the cultural icon of women’s movement into the workforce during the Second World War.
“The strength of the women who began to work outside of the home is something we are inspired by and hope that we can somehow embody with our uplifting, positive message. We like to say that the spirit of Rosie the Riveter lives in all of us,” Reigh says.
The Riveters encourage their audience to embrace the theme, indulge in the atmosphere and wear 1940’s-inspired garb to the show.
Rosie and the Riveters are not only a performance group, but a group of women looking to promote positive community engagement and entrepreneurship among women. Their website features hand-crafted vintage aprons, organic soap and men’s and women’s underwear.
“Twenty per cent of the merchandise sales goes to fund women’s projects around the world via [micro-loan website] Kiva.org. We want to support women and empower them in a positive way, without bashing men or being negative,” Reigh says.
The group will tour across Canada after their album release, which is projected for next spring.
Rosie and the Riveters will be performing at 8:00 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 20 at Ironwood Stage and Grill.