Saffire brings sassy, spirited blues to Mitchell Hall
Vol. 17, No. 21Feb. 26, 1998

Saffire brings sassy, spirited blues to Mitchell Hall

"An old woman don't tell
And an old woman don't yell.
An old woman don't swell
And she's grateful as hell
I need a young, young man
To drive away my middle age blues."

Saffire, the Uppity Blues Women, will bring its rich honky-tonk melodies to Newark at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 20, in Mitchell Hall. Erin McKeown opens for the group with her original blend of folk, funk, blues and jazz.

In the span of just six short years and five albums, Saffire has gone from virtual obscurity to become one of the most popular acoustic blues groups in the world. The group's singing and playing, and unique brand of sassy, witty and fiercely independent music is full of spirit and soul.

In describing one of Saffire's concerts, the Chicago Tribune wrote, "These three middle-age women look more like fugitives from a Tupperware party than a typical blues band. But appearances can be deceiving, as these musicians demonstrated by tearing up the stage with their sassy, funny attitude and their high-powered take-no-prisoners approach."

The 1990 debut album, Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women, became one of the Alligator label's best-selling releases. Saffire member, Gaye Adegbalola won a W.C. Handy Award (the Grammy of the blues community) for her song, "Middle Aged Blues Boogie."

The group quickly went from performing in small, local clubs to performing at festivals and concert halls all over the world. Other albums include Hot Flash, Broadcasting Old, New, Borrowed & Blue, and their latest release, Cleaning House.

Band members include: Adegbalola, a former biochemical researcher and later an eighth grade science teacher (named Virginia's Teacher of the Year in 1982); Ann Rabson, a former computer analyst who played blues at night and quit her day job to pursue music full time the day her daughter graduated from college, and Andra Faye McIntosh, a former registered nurse who describes being in the band as "a dream come true."

Opening act McKeown is rapidly making a name for herself as a redefining voice in contemporary folk music.

Tickets, available at University box offices, are $8 for the general public and $5 for UD faculty, staff, alumni, senior citizens and students.

For more information, call UD1-HENS or the Hartshorn Box Office at 831-2204.

The performance is part of the UD Performing Arts Series and is co-sponsored by the Office of Women's Affairs.

-Beth Thomas