However, Jones enters in a beautiful bright blue 50’s style sundress, accompanied by a quirky-looking pianist in piano-themed tights, Hannah Zreikat. Jones begins the tale of the profound relationship she has with her father. An overwhelming sense of sincerity oozed from Jones as she broke into her first number “I am the Slime”, and this girl is a real performer! Jones quickly proves that the intimate, crowded space was no barrier for her powerful ballarding voice.
Jones invites us on a journey through her favourite childhood memories, which are all inspired by her fathers passion for music. A verse here and a chorus there weaves the narrative together, touching on artists Neil Diamond, Billy Ray Cyrus and Frank Zappa. Her close connection with her dad and the role he played in her career choice was highly relatable and won me over in the first five minutes. With a focus on female vocalists whose careers were driven by their fathers, Jones displayed control and depth of tone conquering a cover of Amy Winehouse’s ‘What Is It About Men’.
Jones shares several cringe-worthy Dad jokes, which has the audience laughing and reminds us all of our fathers. Reaching out to audience members to share their own painful dad jokes develops a sense of community. This leads on to an invitation to sing Stevie Wonder's “Isn’t She Lovely”. However, we’re a little too shy (or maybe too sober) to really get on board.
Nonetheless, bodies subtly swayed in their seats while I battled the self-control to not jump in with backup vocals and a whoop at every high note Jones nailed. Jones’ extremely talented accompanist, Zreikat is clearly a natural born musician. She maintained the tempo, flicking pages of music and tapping her feet while also providing smooth vocal backups with pitch perfect harmony. Her quirky, fun vibe had me stealing moments away from Jones in gratitude of her musical skill.
The show’s climax featured a mega-mix of the past centuries most popular songs. The crisp control and range of Jones’ voice left me wondering if there was any song she couldn’t sing. Zreikat’s clever arrangement of this seven-minute mashup gave Jones a run for her money, leaving me astounded by her ability to nail every note and key change, all while impersonating some of the biggest musical stars known to mankind, such as Elvis, Queen, Diana Ross & Carole King.
After this roller coaster through the decades, Jones brings us back down to earth with a earnest tribute to her most influential artist, Ella Fitzgerald. One final memory shared from her childhood reinforces the gratitude she has for the close bond with her family. It is now that I reflect on my own appreciation for family and music, and as I do I see glimmers in the eyes of other audience members that suggest they are doing the same. The range of genres and artists Jones’ is able to represent with her vast vocal range and beautiful resonance leaves us with a further appreciation for the hour spent here in this space. Jones’ heart and soul is left on stage with summertime lyrics lingering in the air and following me all the way home.