If Irish cover band the Commitments are the saviors of soul, then Saskatchewan has its own version of the hardest working band in the world with the Saskatoon Legendary Rhythm and Blues Revue. The ensemble took to the stage at the Community Legion Hall in Wadena on Saturday night and spread the joy that is classic, heartfelt R&B. 

Whether it was uptempo and kicking, like “Hit the Road Jack” and Van Morrison’s “Domino”, or sweet and smooth, as with Dorothy Moores “Misty Blue” or the romance of “At Last”, the Revue delivered a range of sounds by some of the best artists of the 60s and 70s. Frontman vocalist Darcy Grieg dipped into a full catalogue of classics with energetic interpretations throughout. Otis Redding, James Brown and Sam and Dave all got the treatment with Grieg’s throaty power and impressive vocal range. Holly Stasiuk gave the female artists her attention including turns at Aretha Franklin and Kiki Dee’s 70s dance floor classic “I Got the Music in Me.”

A stellar line up of musicians included the bass and percussion anchors of bandleader Gord McAulay and Saskatoon drumming mainstay Glenn Enns. Gordon Mosher captured the horn element of the era with outstanding sax solos while guitarist Tom Chunick faithfully reproduced the funk feel of the numbers, interspersed with blistering solos. Rounding out the musical cast was keyboardist Ross Nykiforuk of Northern Pikes fame, producing everything from boogie to backing with a classic Hammond sound.

If you missed the performance in Wadena and didn’t watch their Telemiracle appearance, you can catch the band at the Regina Blues Festival on March 3 or their show and dance at the Bassment in Saskatoon on March 17.