LITTLE MISS HIGGINS performing as part of the WOMEN’S BLUES REVUE at Massey Hall (178 Victoria), Saturday (November 29), 8 pm. $35-$45. 416-872-4255.
Now in its 22nd year, the annual Women's Blues Revue could benefit from some new blood, so this year's addition of younger talent is a welcome turn, especially when the cast includes soul diva Alana Bridgewater, jazz singer/pianist Elizabeth Shepherd, lounge chanteuse Lily Frost and the fabulous Little Miss Higgins, who draws on the 30s brothel blues of Memphis Minnie for inspiration.
Although the Alberta-born Higgins didn't take home any hardware from the Junos in February, having her Junction City album recently named outstanding blues recording at the 2008 Western Canadian Music Awards is a helluva consolation prize. She's looking forward to making her Massey Hall debut this weekend, although the milestone moment will be bittersweet since she won't be sharing the stage with her guitar-picking sidekick Foy Taylor, her own private Kansas Joe McCoy. Evidently the Women's Blues Revue maintains a strict "no men allowed" policy.
"When Suzie Vinnick invited me to do the Women's Blues Revue," explains Higgins from her home in Nokomis, Saskatchewan, "she specifically asked for me only. At first, Foy seemed kinda upset and was planning on staying here in Saskatchewan to sulk, but I managed to convince him to make the trip to Toronto with me anyway."
He could always try sneaking onstage in a wig and dress.
"It wouldn't be the first time for Foy," chuckles Higgins. "But I think he'll be content to watch from the audience."
Memphis Minnie isn't the only guitar player that has influenced the Little Miss Higgins sound.
Little Miss Higgins discusses receiving the Most Outstanding Blues Recording award for her Junction City album at the Western Canadian Music Awards recently.