Po’ Girl since they first formed as a duo of Allison Russell, originally from Montreal, who’d been in the Vancouver Celtic band, Fear of Drinking, and Trish Klein, one of the Be Good Tanyas. Not long after their first album came out in 2003, they toured to Montreal and were my guests on Folk Roots/Folk Branches. By then, Po’ Girl was a trio with the addition of fiddler Diona Davies.
There’ve been personnel changes over the years with Alli, a very musical singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, being the constant presence through all versions of Po’ Girl. For the past several years, Alli’s main collaborator has been Awna Teixeira, another very musical singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. These days Po’ Girl also includes a couple of guys – Benny Sidelinger, who also plays a bunch of different instruments, and percussionist Mikey “Lightning” August.
Their upcoming tour takes its name from “No Shame,” a very brave song that Alli wrote about the decade of sexual abuse she suffered as a child from her adopted father, about the years it took her to come to terms with that abuse, about a mother’s dependency on the man who destroyed her daughter’s childhood, and about Alli’s survivor’s resolve not to let the abuse destroy the rest of her life. “I won't be sad, I won't be silent, I won't let him steal my joy,” she defiantly sings at the end of the last two verses.
The Canadian dates on Po’ Girl’s No Shame tour are a fundraiser for Little Warriors, a national organization dedicated to helping adults "prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse." The U.S. dates will benefit the National Children's Alliance, an organization also dedicated to stopping child abuse.
Among the nearby concert dates are stops at Hugh’s Room in Toronto (Wednesday, March 10); the Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield, QC near Ottawa (Friday, March 12) and L’Astral in Montreal (Saturday, March 13). The full itinerary with concert and ticket details is at pogirl.net.