For Mother’s Day last Sunday, my family and I decided to go see this little girl by the name of Emmy Sunshine. We saw her at Terra Fermataq in Stuart. She’s an eleven year old girl who sings all types of music from country to pop rock. While she may sing different genres, everything she sings sounds country, due to the tone of her voice. Within everything she sings she ads some kind of a high note, even if the song doesn’t call for one. For instance, towards the end of her set she sang “Bobby McGee” by Bob Dylan. Now this song has never really asked for a huge belting note within it anywhere. Even within the chorus when a singer sings the word freedom. The note for freedom rises slightly, but the other notes after remain soft and low. Now I have heard people go high on the ending chorus, bu when they’ve done so they’ve put a little raspiness into their voice. This gives the tune a little bluesy feel at the end, which is nice. Really the concept of dynamics is what Sunshine needs to learn before she becomes a true artist. She needs to understand that songs that have low notes need to keep their low notes. Also she needs to watch it on the big songs that she doesn’t oversing. It’s a technicality thing but if she improves this it will only make her better.
On the other hand she did have a few songs that I did like. Both of them were originals, which she wrote with her mother. The first, which she did early on in the set was inspired by a book and was called “I Am Able”. The idea bhind the song was a that a class of disabled super heros in super hero school coul do everything that the other super hero students could do. This song is like the movie Sky High taken a step further. The other song I really liked by her was entitled “White Dress”. The interest in this song was its lyrics, as well ass how it was put together. The song was sung by Sunshine and her father, the basist. It was cool because they were botth singing about this man, but each had a different idea of who the man really was. Sunshine thought he was a gorgious and kind gentleman, while her father believed he was a criminal and an outlaw. Sunshine didn’t seem to be bothered by her father’s discription and kept singing about what a great-looking, nice guy he was. It was nice to see neither performer’s opinion change as the song moved on. This left a bit of a mystery in the the audiences heads. It left them wondereing who is this gentleman? Is he kind or is he mean?
Emmy’s band, called The Rain was all family. Her dad was on bass and her uncle (who they cracked jokes on throughout the set) was on drums. She had a backup guitarist, who was also related. She had her mother there helping her out. The family aspect was certainly nice, because it’s something everyone can relate to. I rather enjoyed her dad on bass. He played nice and when he sang I enjoyed his voice as well. He had the concept of dynamics figured out, which I appreciated. There not only was jokes told about her uncle being a drummer, but jokes all around, all of which were bad. Sunshine, other than having a nice voice, did have an amazing stage presence. She knew how to handle her band as well as the audience. She did, on occasion forget what song she was going to do and had one of her band membrs remind her.
Other covers, besides “Bobby McGee” were “Fortunate Son” by John Fogerty and “Sugaree” by the Grateful Dead. She certainly picked covers that audiences would like to hear, but they were also interesting picks. For instance when I hear someone cover CCR they usually do “Down On the Corner” and “Bad Moon Rising”, so it was nice that she went for something a little more uncommon.
All in all it was a good show. It will be interesting to see what she is like in ten years when her voice has had the ability to mature and she has had some more vocal trraining. Right now I think her biggest thing is for her to keep in mind that, high notes aren’t always sweet and the right thing to do. Sunshine’s voice and abilities will grow the more she preforms. As she gets a bit more comfortable with the stage and crowd she will not tend to talk to her band so much. Also she will remember what song she’s going to play, as her nerves loosen up.