Like all the best Maritime festivals, Shivering Songs embodies the spirit of the traditional East Coast kitchen party filled with friends and family. Participating in the world's easiest game of six degrees of separation, Halifax singer-songwriter Jenn Grant is connected to numerous past and present Shivering Songs performers like Joel Plaskett, Buck 65 and Ron Sexsmith.
Following an introduction filled with dad jokes from CBC's ever-present Rockin' Bob Mersereau and joined onstage by her regular collaborator and "her fella," Daniel Ledwell, Grant quickly ingratiated herself to the Fredericton crowd, talking about her love for the city and the festival, run by her best friends who she's known for "100 of her 101 years."
Playing an older song written in a book purchased locally, bringing their dogs to the show and hypothesizing about bringing them on stage to perform next year, Grant and Ledwell welcomed the full house of generous onlookers at the historic Wilmot United Church on a journey into their lives, — and then, to match the artwork on her latest album Compostela — a journey into the stars. Describing Fredericton as one of her favourite places, filled with her favourite people, Grant mentioned that she felt the crowd deserved something gold. Beyond her sparkly sequined dress, those drifting off and looking upwards could have seen stars projected above, akin to Hogwarts' enchanted ceiling.
Having recently been on tour with Joel and Bill Plaskett in Newfoundland, the transition from her set to his felt completely natural. Placed back within the family kitchen party context, Grant's set was the dessert following dinner; she played the part of a relaxed, confident aunt putting everyone into a trance before your crazy uncle Joel Plaskett showed up to spike the drinks.