Earlier in the week I went to Blues Alley for the first time. I grew up in DC and I have been to the 930 and Black Cat dozens of times but I never made it to Blues Alley before.
Blues Alley has a really great fell to it. I completely understand why it is such a DC institution. There is no street access, it is literally only accessible via the alley. Enough about the venue because Vanessa Renee Williams was the reason I was there. She is a local DC gospel singer, and unfortunately there is only one you tube video of her that I found. She has an amazing voice and I would never have known about her if a family friend weren’t working on a CD with her.
From what I understand she mostly sings in groups and this was one of her first solo shows. I thought it was a great combination of talented singing, appreciation of having people come out to see her and her own quirky style. At one point she sat down at the piano and pretended to play Fur Elise. It was a great impression. She could really set up a Victor Borges style show between singing and joking.
She brought her daughter up on stage to sing and they did a great duet. It was powerful.
The next day I only listened to my Aretha Franklin Pandora station. Vanessa Renee Williams made me do it.
All I can say is that I want to be at her next solo show.
Below are a few links
Here is her MySpace