Wednesday, 07 October 2015 14:17

Rosie and the Riveters stick to the basics to create riveting entertainment

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Allyson Reigh, Alexis Normand, Farideh Olsen and Melissa Nygren are the charming women who make up Rosie & the Riveters.   Allyson Reigh, Alexis Normand, Farideh Olsen and Melissa Nygren are the charming women who make up Rosie & the Riveters.   Lisa Landrie

Much like Hootie and the Blowfish, Darius Rucker is not Hootie , and there is no one lead singer who fills the role of ‘Rosie’ in the fun-loving Saskatchewan quartet Rosie and the Riveters.


Melissa Nygren, Farideh Olsen, Allyson Reigh and Alexis Normand combine to comprise Rosie and the Riveters which embrace the old style of 1940s swing.
They were in Swift Current at the Lyric Theatre for an Oct. 8 evening show. Earlier in the day they were at a Swift Current care home and did a private show for the residents there.
They are different in that they put on an almost old-style show. They sing a lot of upbeat songs, many of which have an uplifting, gospel quality to them.
Their publicist compared them to The Andrews Sisters crossed with Mahalia Jackson and The Good Lovelies. They are all fun loving and genuine and that makes them special.
They are funny. While they take the music and the show seriously, they don’t have big egos and their humorous banter and dance is legendary.
“We create a fun environment; we don’t have to pretend were something we’re not,” says Normand. “For example, I’m the biggest geek ever.”
Nygren, is a songwriter who operates “guitar, voice and songwriting training” and was a member of The Cracker Cats which included Swift Current’s Eliza Doyle. Allyson Reigh, is a “prolific songwriter” which has earned her national accolades and has also released a solo EP project.
Normand is bilingual, but was born and raised in Saskatchewanian as she is from a small community just outside of Saskatoon. She has also been nominated for numerous Francophone awards and was short-listed for a Lieutenant Governor General award in the merging artist category.
Normand says this particular tour within Saskatchewan includes the full band and they are pushing hard.
“We are doing a lot of wardrobe changes and we’re upping the bar with the show; we’re really excited about it,” she adds.
Normand says they enjoy the recording aspect of the business. Each of them brings song “embryos” with a song draft.
“We talk about and if we agree on it then we say we should write a song from it,” explains Normand. “The biggest challenge is finding time to work on art. We’re really good at being organic once we get together.”
According to their website: “They are inspired by Rosie the Riveter, the feminist icon who represents the women’s movement into the workforce during (the Second World War) and embodies the strength and power that thrive in every woman. The Riveters are about empowering women to be ambassadors for change in their community and to attain this goal, they use 20 per cent of their merchandise sales to support other women’s projects around the world through KIVA.org.”
They have a lot of pride and fun in what they do. What makes this tour even more special is one of them has a three-month-old child, so bab and a nanny are all coming along on the tour portion to Ontario.
“I’m kind of excited to be an auntie,” says Normand chuckling.

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